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Swiss Air-Rescue Rega, to home page

“We negotiate all over the world.”

Stefan Puskas, Nominated Person Ground Operations Jet, is, among other things, responsible for ensuring that Rega’s three ambulance jets are refuelled and prepared for departure again quickly and efficiently at all the airports at home and abroad.


How many different airports do Rega crews fly to?
Every year, they fly to around 400 airports on all the continents. One major challenge is that we do not know today where our crews will be needed next week. They fly to wherever a patient is waiting for our help and repatriation to Switzerland. 

What does this mean in terms of organising the missions?
There is usually very little time to prepare for a repatriation. However, each airport has different requirements or regulations. It is therefore all the more important that our flight coordinators, who organise the jet missions, can rely on up-to-date information. Only then can the missions also be organised at short notice quickly and reliably. 

What information is needed for a mission?
We take care of the contracts with kerosene suppliers, traffic rights and implementing the requirements of the customs authorities. We negotiate with authorities and partners all over the world and conclude agreements with them. These apply even though – unlike a “normal” airline – we do not have a regular, recurring flight schedule and only know a short time in advance when we will be flying to a particular airport. As a result, the Rega jets can be turned around quickly and efficiently at all the airports. That means, for example, that someone comes onto the airfield to refuel the jet or that the ambulance vehicle is able to drive up to the aircraft.

How do you make this information available to the Operations Centre?
We have our own database which contains, among other things, the contact details for every airport, the current prices of fuel suppliers, details of handling agents, special opening hours and information on customs procedures. 

How do you keep all this information up to date? 
The feedback from the Operations Centre and the jet crews after a mission is a great help. If they report to us difficulties or changes in procedures, we follow this up and amend the information in our database. In addition, we actively approach the authorities and negotiate new options, so that the next time everything runs smoothly. 

What do traffic rights involve? 
In order for our jets to be permitted to fly to or over a country, we need so-called traffic rights. The procedures to obtain these permits vary from one country to another. We keep a separate dossier for each country. It contains all the key data on overflight rights or authorisation procedures. 

Do you also obtain all the necessary permits?
No. My team deal with the procedures that are necessary to obtain the flight rights. Either the dispatcher or the flight coordinator at the Jet Operations Centre then takes care of the overflight or landing permits. 

What fascinates you about your job?
We are in daily contact with people all over the world and sometimes have to overcome cross-cultural obstacles. In a very specialised field, we contribute in the background towards making sure that the missions performed by our jet crews go as smoothly as possible. If we do our job well, the mission runs like clockwork, which directly benefits our patients. 

Additional information