In normal situation, the approach control usually happens in the CIR in Wangen/Dübendorf. There are 5 working positions where at least 2 of them must always be manned. In busy times, all 5 are manned. However, during exceptional situations where the traffic is low, a transfer of approach control service functions to the Zurich control Tower is permitted.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, a reserve workstation in the Zurich control Tower has been converted in a way that allows a single air traffic controller to handle radar traffic control, which allows for the release of all approach control service positions in the CIR at this time. This could not have been achieved without the great efforts and very good cooperation between skyguide’s technical and operational experts over the past few weeks. Since practically all systems – radios, radar screens, telephone, and network – had to be adapted, various skyguide specialists have joined forces to make this conversion possible while meeting the highest safety standards.
Thanks to this additional workstation in the tower, traffic can now be handled with three to four open workstations and the air traffic controllers who work on the additional workstations can provide assistance at any time if necessary.