World Economic Forum (WEF)

In 2019, the armed forces will once again support the civilian authorities in the canton of Graubünden in carrying out security tasks in connection with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Parliament approved the deployment of a maximum of 5,000 soldiers on these civil affairs support operations from 2019 until 2021. The 2019 WEF meeting will be held from 18 to 28 January.

The armed forces protect transport, electricity and water supply infrastructure, and Swiss airspace, carry out surveillance and transport flights, and also support the civilian authorities in their command support and logistics efforts, and in coordinating medical services. They thus relieve the burden on the police and allow them to concentrate their resources on essential missions.

The armed forces play no part in law enforcement services, which are the responsibility of the police. The soldiers carry out their missions in accordance with the Ordinance on the Police Powers of the Armed Forces.

The Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Aldo C. Schellenberg, is in charge of the mission as Commander Subsidiary Security Operation (CSSO) and has been allocated the following resources and organisations in order to accomplish this mission:

  • Territorial Division 3 (TerDiv 3)
  • the Air Force (AF)
  • the Armed Forces Logistics Organisation (AFLO)
  • the Armed Forces Command Support Organisation (CSO)
  • the Military Police
  • the NBC-EOD Centre of Excellence
  • the Armed Forces Mountain Service Competence Centre
  • the Special Forces Command
  • the Armed Forces Staff
  • and selected resources from the Training and Education Command.

During the WEF, the Command Support Organisation provides support for the communication between all cantonal police and armed forces security forces. This requires secure networks, like the Swiss Command and Control Network, which are independent of civilian providers. The data is transmitted in encrypted form from node to node. Civilian systems and the systems used by the land forces and the air force, e.g. the FLORAKO airspace surveillance, are integrated into the overall system.  

The networks are centrally monitored 24/7, jointly by all partners, i.e. the air force, land forces, sectors of the CSO and external companies.

The deployed military and police forces are provided with material and equipment. In addition, the military provides the Graubünden cantonal police with equipment such as fire extinguishers, radios, fences, protective vests and vehicles. An ad hoc logistics battalion and other medical and logistics units assist the Graubünden cantonal police in transport, traffic control, medical services, and assembly and dismantling work.

Restricted-Area-WEF 2019
Air traffic in the Davos area is restricted during the 2019 World Economic Forum (GND to FL195).

Air traffic over Swiss, Austrian and Liechtenstein territory within a radius of 25 nautical miles (approx. 46 km) of the centre of Davos will be restricted from 21 to 26 January 2019. Special rules and procedures that have been worked out by the Swiss Air Force and the Federal Office for Civil Aviation must be observed for approaches to and departures from regional airfields and heliports. Only specified visual flight routes may be flown. All these flights will be subject to authorisation; accreditation of both pilots and aircraft is required for authorisation.

Flights outside the specified routes and flights to Davos also require authorisation, which will only be granted to pilots and aircraft that have been accredited beforehand. Even after accreditation, a request must be made to the air force for every flight. The air force will then decide whether to grant or refuse permission in accordance with requirements and security considerations. Detailed instructions can be found in official publications

The Swiss Air Force will support the civilian authorities with air transport and surveillance flights using helicopters, propeller planes and combat aircraft. Therefore, a considerable increase in military air movements even beyond the canton of Graubünden is to be expected.

As air traffic includes not only helicopters and aeroplanes, all other airspace users are also subject to restrictions that come into force on 21 January 2019. The regulations for model aircraft, UAVs, delta and paragliders are issued by the Graubünden cantonal police.

Restriction times
Monday, 21 January 2019, from 8am local time
until latest Saturday, 26 January 2019, 5pm local time.

Information including publications and forms for the accreditation of civilian pilots are provided by the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) ► www.bazl.admin.ch/wef


Air force identifying an aircraft – Standby 121,5

As a civilian pilot, what do I have to do when a military aircraft suddenly comes alongside my aircraft? How do I have to act?  What does this mean and what does the air force want from me? Below, under the heading "Videos", you will find a video in which Jérôme d'Hooghe, former chief of air force air defence division, provides detailed information on the subject.