The Zurich base's history dates back to 1968, when it was located at Zurich Airport. Much has happened since then. After more than 30 years of operating from the “provisional” facilities on the flat roof of the Zurich Children’s Hospital, the present-day base was built on the site of the military airport in Dübendorf in 2003.
Rega has operated a helicopter base in Zurich since 1968, when the first helicopter – a turbine-powered Agusta Bell Jet Ranger 206A with the registration number HB-XCU – was based at Zurich-Kloten Airport.
In 1972, its successor, a Jet Ranger 206B with the registration number HB-XDP, was stationed – initially on a trial basis – on the flat roof of the Children’s Hospital in Zurich. However, this was still not a Rega base in the current sense. The crew were accommodated in an apartment in the vicinity of the hospital and had to carry the kerosene for the helicopter onto the roof in canisters. The helicopter was on standby day and night, in particular to carry out transfer flights for premature babies.
"Permanent" provisional facilities
In 1990, the crew moved into new accommodation on the roof of the Children's Hospital. For space reasons, the provisional modular building, comprising an office, a living room and sleeping quarters, as well as a kitchen and a bathroom, was not located on the same roof as the helicopter. An outdoor spiral staircase linked the base facilities with the helipad. In February 1995, the Agusta A 109 K2 replaced the now dual-turbine helicopter, the Bölkow BO 105. Between October 2003 and the beginning of 2019, the crew from the Zurich base flew with the reliable and spacious EC 145.
Operational base at Dübendorf Airport
After more than thirty years of operating from the "provisional" facilities on the flat roof of the Children's Hospital, the Zurich base was able to move into its new home at the military airport in Dübendorf on 1 May 2003. Here four helicopter pilots and four paramedics are on duty in shifts. In addition, a physician from the University Hospital Zurich is on 24-hour standby at the base. The Rega base in Dübendorf is ideally located for providing medical care to the population in the cantons of Zurich, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Aargau, Thurgau, St. Gallen and Zug, as well as the region just over the Swiss border.
Welcome to the H145
The third of a total of seven new Airbus Helicopters H145 helicopters has been in operation at Rega's Zurich base since February 2019. The new rescue helicopter was welcomed and presented to the public in March 2019 at a special event held in the concourse of Zurich Main Station.
Varied range of operations
The majority of primary missions are in response to traffic accidents, followed by occupational accidents. Many of its missions also involve transferring patients from one hospital to another. Nowadays, the Zurich base performs around 800 missions every year.
|Radio code||"Rega 1"|
|No. of missions in 2020||769|
|Range of missions||The range of missions is varied. The majority of primary missions are in response to traffic accidents, followed by accidents at work. Almost 50% of our missions are secondary transports, i.e. transfer flights between hospitals.|
The crew is on 24-hour standby at the base.
|Building||Built in 2003|
|Special features||The emergency flight physicians are provided by the Anaesthesia Department of the University Hospital Zurich and are assigned to the base in Dübendorf for a period of at least six months. Special missions are performed from here, such as ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) or IABP (intra-aortic balloon pump) flights, the transport of premature babies (incubator) or obese patients weighing up to 400kg, and special transports such as flights with police divers called out to search for missing persons.|
|The crew's favourite food||Grilled meat with vegetables and salad.|