Association - Helvetica

HelvetiCA – Swiss Controllers Association is a labor union and aviation safety association in Switzerland which represents over 550 highly skilled air traffic controllers. HelvetiCA was created at the end of 2020 following the successful merger of Aerocontrol, Skycontrol, APTC and PVB (aviation safety section). Before the merger these associations were already collaborating closely under the umbrella of SwissATCA (Swiss Air Traffic controllers association). Now a new reality is born which is present in all regions of Switzerland, from Geneva to Zurich and passing through central Switzerland until Ticino. The organization also includes military air traffic controllers.

HelvetiCAs structure is created following the model of the Swiss Federal Council and will act on the basis of democracy, solidarity and subsidiarity. This will provide a voice to each Air Traffic Controller no matter where they may work within the country.

The Central Board which runs the organization consists of a careful balance of all regions and work backgrounds in Switzerland.

Below there are four Sub-Boards who deal with local issues following the principle of subsidiarity.

  • International Tower and Approach Controllers
  • Enroute Radar Controllers
  • Regional Aerodrome Controllers
  • Military Controllers

History

1958

Air traffic controllers were represented by the association of telegraph personnel (VSTTB) and got their own section in 1958 (VPRS).

1961

The VPRS section was transferred into SwissATCA (Swiss Air Traffic Controllers association). Still being part of the VSTTB but with a lot more autonomy.

1970

Since several air traffic controllers did not feel properly represented by SwissATCA. Aerocontrol Switzerland – Swiss Controllers’ Association was founded July 29th 1970 by a number of Zürich based controllers.

1988

An attempt was made to merge SwissATCA and Aerocontrol into a new association called Skycontrol. The merger failed but the mainly Geneva based air traffic controllers decided to keep the new name Skycontrol anyway.

1989

The section “Flugsicherung” was founded in the PVB/APC. Since then, they mainly represented military and regional air traffic controllers.

1993

The Geneva Tower Controllers separated from Skycontrol and founded their own association APTC (Association du personnel de la tour de controle)

2001

military air navigation services, which had been provided separately until then, were also placed under the responsibility of Swisscontrol, which was renamed skyguide in the process. Skyguide thus became the first air navigation service provider in Europe to control the whole of its country's airspace.

2019

“the-Merge” project was launched trying to find common ground and a basis to work together as one voice in the future. Following a challenging 18-month negotiation 96% of the members of the four old unions voted in favor of the merger on October 16th 2020.

2021

At the first of January HelvetiCA started its business.

Central Board

President

Benjamin Fichtner

Zürich Area Control / Chair International / Chair Communication

Vice-President

Didier Callmander

Sion Tower/Approach / Chair Member Support

MILITARY

Christian Staub

Air Defense and Direction Center / Chair Technics and Operation

GVA TWR/APP

Benoit Verly

Geneva Tower/Approach / Chair Finance / Chair Training

ZRH TWR/APP

Marcel Spycher

Zürich Tower/Approach / Chair Safety

GVA ACC

Quentin Tonascia

Geneva Area Control / Chair Career / Chair Technics and Operation

Who We Represent

HelvetiCA represents Swiss air traffic controllers made up of men and women dedicated and highly specialized in ensuring the safety of Swiss airspace. Air traffic controllers work in control towers at international airports, regional airports, and military airbases. They are also present in the radar approach control facilities and in the traffic control centers of the air routes (Dübendorf and Zurich). All these workers coordinate the safe, orderly, and rapid movement of more than 1,300,000* civilian IFR per year and 94,519* military movements (* data from 2019).

We support the work of 558 air traffic controllers, representing them throughout Switzerland through a single strong and reliable voice.

The four Sub-Boards are designed in a way that all air traffic control units have a guaranteed seat. Bigger units are entitled to more seats in their Sub-Board.

  • Area Control and Lower Airspace
    - Quentin Tonascia - Geneva ACC (Chair)
    - Benjamin Fichtner - Zürich ACC
    - Randy Foran - Geneva ACC
    - Cédric Berthiaud - Geneva ACC
    - Anthony Treyvaud - Geneva FIC Delta
    - Sandy Hüssy- Zürich ACC
    - Ivo Maiolo - Zürich ACC
    - Alexander Hess - Zürich FIC Delta
  • International Tower/Approach
    - Marcel Spycher – Zürich (Chair)
    - Thomas Weckemann – Zürich
    - Kilian Bircher – Zürich
    - Benoit Verly – Geneva
    - Pierre-Alain Cabot – Geneva
    - Jesse Giacometti – Geneva
  • Regional Aerdromes
    - Didier Callmander - Sion (Chair)
    - Matthias Oppliger - Bern
    - Lukas Rüdin - Buochs
    - Sandro Müller - Grenchen
    - Niccolò Soldati - Lugano
    - Ramuald Favre - Sion
  • Military Units
    - Christian Staub - ADDC (Chair)
    - Joël Gauss - Dübendorf
    - Patric Nüesch - Emmen and Alpnach
    - Stefano Dias - Locarno
    - Patrick Kattrup - Meiringen
    - Eric Schlüchter - Payerne
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