The history of the Locarno base
The Rega base in Italian-speaking Switzerland lies in the middle of the Magadino plain, in the heart of Canton Ticino. It was founded in 1980 and covers a highly challenging operational area. Originally the base comprised a rented hangar, an Alouette III helicopter and two pilots. In 1982, the crew moved into a building of its own, with a separate hangar and a conference and training room. In 1995, the base took delivery of an Agusta A 109 K2 twin-engine rescue helicopter. Since 2010, the AgustaWestland Da Vinci mountain helicopter has been in operation here. Nowadays, the crew from the Ticino base fly around 800 missions per year.
Almost two years after construction work commenced, the new Rega helicopter base in Ticino was officially opened on 11 April 2013. The new building stands on the site of the previous base. It fulfils the most modern of standards and thanks to special constructional measures is also protected from flooding.
Intimate knowledge of the area
The greater part of Italian-speaking Switzerland extends over rough terrain, which poses difficulties not just for normal flight operations, but also for air-rescue missions. As a result, extensive knowledge of the numerous valleys, gorges, rock faces, alps and expanses of water is of vital importance.
Mainly missions in the mountains
The majority of missions conducted by Rega’s Ticino base involve ski accidents, as well as rescue hoist operations in the mountains and over lakes and rivers. The number of missions performed after road and occupational accidents is continually on the increase. The operational area of this helicopter base, located in the municipality of Gordola, also encompasses the Italian-speaking region of Val Mesolcina in Graubünden, which stretches from the San Bernadino Pass to the Calancatal valley. In addition, cross-border missions into neighbouring Italy are not uncommon.
Via Aeroporto 15
|Radio code||"Rega 6"|
|No. of missions in 2022||830|
|Range of missions|
While the winter is relatively quiet, in the summer months, the crew is extremely busy with hiking and swimming accidents.
The crew is on 24-hour standby at the base.
The new base was officially inaugurated in April 2013. It meets the most modern of standards and thanks to constructional measures is also protected against flooding.
The base is often used by the flying school for training purposes. The office at the only helicopter base in Italian-speaking Switzerland also answers all kinds of questions from within Ticino, as well as the region just across the Italian border.