Skyguide offers the pilots of the general aviation community a wide range of services free of charge, and strives to accommodate their needs as extensively as it can. Skyguide also attaches great value to keeping general aviation pilots comprehensively informed and sensitizing them as much as possible to safety issues and concerns.
Skyguide endeavours to support general aviation and its needs as much as it can within the parameters imposed.
What is general aviation? It broadly covers the operation of aircraft with a takeoff weight of up to 5.7 tonnes. (A Boeing 747, by comparison, has a takeoff weight of around 400 tonnes.) General aviation aircraft include:
The majority of general aviation flights are for sports or leisure purposes. But general aviation has a major role to play on the training front, too. Most of the training flights of future commercial airline pilots are performed using small aircraft, and almost every airline commander will have started their career flying smaller aircraft to earn their private pilot’s licence. Most basic pilot training is conducted at regional airports by local flying schools.
Skyguide provides the following services for the general aviation community. They are all extensively used.
The Aeronautical Information Service or AIS is the central office providing information and advice for flight crews, airlines and general aviation. The AIS is responsible for procuring, processing and passing on data and information on such issues as airspace restrictions, the weather, NOTAMs (short-notice communications about the condition of or changes to aviation facilities, firing exercises, airspace restrictions and similar), DABSs (charts compiled daily showing Swiss air force and army firing zones), overflight and landing clearances and similar. All this information is needed to ensure safe, orderly and fluid flight operations. Any pilot is entitled to use the services of the AIS and its qualified specialists to help them plan their flight. The AIS also processes all flight plans submitted. Links:
The Flight Information Centre (FIC) provides pilots in flight with safety information by radio – on the general traffic situation, weather conditions, the current status of ground installations and so on.
Skyguide also produces annual editions of aeronautical charts in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (“swisstopo”)