The test approaches were carried out on Zurich Airport’s Runways 14 and 16, with so-called “missed approaches” (approaches without landing). All test approaches were carried out successfully without any incidents. The very good teamwork between the operational units involved also contributed to this success.
These test approaches are unusual for Swiss air traffic control because they were conducted for the first time by air traffic controllers in the military operations centre at the Air Defence and Direction Center (ADDC). Normally, only civilian air traffic controllers guide aircraft onto the final approach of Zurich Airport. The responsibilities between civil and military air traffic control are precisely defined, which is why these test approaches conducted from the Operations Centre are an absolute exception. Skyguide’s military air traffic controllers also have a general approach endorsement in their licence for civil aerodromes.
In order to keep noise emissions for the population as low as possible, the approaches by the F/A-18 fighter aircraft were carried out at higher speeds than those of civilian aircraft. This resulted in a reduction of noise emissions.