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After 14 years: Claudio Amstutz says farewell to Air Zermatt

Claudio Amstutz has been a dedicated employee of Air Zermatt for 14 years. He has served in many departments within the company over the years – most recently as Operative Director of Air Zermatt Training Center. Now it’s time to bid him farewell.

17. November 2022
Céline Bader

Fourteen years ago, Claudio Amstutz said goodbye to the world of construction and joined the task specialist team at Air Zermatt. Now 43 years old, he initially started in a seasonal position in May 2008.

As a task specialist, Claudio acted as the pilot’s right-hand man, spending ten years working on construction sites, in forests, and in the snow. This was a job that not only brought him great joy, but also awakened his fascination with helicopters: “It was while working as a task specialist and seeing our own helicopters on a daily basis that my initial enthusiasm really grew.”

A lot has changed since his time out in the “field”. “We used to perform the transport flights with Lama helicopters. Today we no longer own any of those machines and instead use the powerful Ecureuil. The crew and helicopter fleet have expanded.”

From the field to the computer screen

After ten years at his post, Claudio wanted to take on a new challenge, but without leaving Air Zermatt. He found what he was seeking in the Air Zermatt dispatch team – the place at the center of coordination and control for all flight operations, but also where guests are received and all administrative work, emergency calls, and the billing process take place.

This was all new territory for Claudio, who had never worked in an office, but he certainly didn’t see it as an impossible task: “Air Zermatt is totally committed to employee development and I was able to begin an administrative apprenticeship. That was not the only time I was given such an opportunity, and I am extremely grateful for this.”

Suddenly spending the entire day in front of a screen took a little getting used to: “At first I certainly had days when I felt a little wistful watching the task specialists out on the heliport. But when it’s gray, rainy, or snowing outside, you’re actually happy to stay in the warm office. I was also able to experience a lot during my ten years here.”

Although life as a dispatcher is less physically demanding, the job takes a great deal of mental effort. A cool head is required even in stressful situations. You have to be able to improvise and make spontaneous decisions. Often, everything happens all at once. Claudio’s willingness to take the plunge was worth it: “I really enjoyed working in dispatching and have many fond memories of my time there.”

“There is great demand”

Claudio has been Operative Director of the Air Zermatt Training Center since its restructuring about a year ago, and has thus been responsible for operating the ATC since last fall.

In addition to administrative and financial tasks, the Operative Director organizes courses, is in contact with customers and instructors, and compiles the ATC course program.

The center has become an crucial pillar of Air Zermatt: “We offer a variety of courses for both amateurs and professionals.” Examples include BLS-AED – first aid courses – in which the participants are briefed about an emergency situation in an everyday situation and learn what to do in a real-life scenario. High-alpine, rescue-specific, and firefighting courses are also on the Air Zermatt Training Center’s course schedule:

“We are fortunate to have highly qualified instructors with a large wealth of experience who can not only provide training for private individuals, but also specialists from all manner of emergency organizations from across the globe, both in the helicopter and on the ground. Our courses are in great demand. We are very happy,” Claudio says, taking stock.

Three departments, many hours around the Air Zermatt hangar, plenty of sling load transports and typing, and probably quite a few cups of coffee too. This year, Claudio is celebrating his 14th company anniversary – and also bidding us farewell this week. He has decided to change direction and will be leaving Air Zermatt at the end of the month.

When Claudio looks back on his time at Air Zermatt, he sees it as being defined by change: “For one thing, digitalization has brought many new developments. But the workforce has also grown immensely. The individual departments have made advances and now need more planning experience. Planning a day 14 years ago was a totally different procedure than it is today!”

After so many years, Claudio confesses that the decision to resign was neither easy nor unemotional: “Air Zermatt has been a fantastic employer, and I’m taking many fond memories with me. I was privileged to meet many people who will remain good friends in the future.”

What kept Claudio at Air Zermatt for 14 years? “The varied work, the working atmosphere, and the amicable relationships among colleagues. I also had the opportunity to dabble and work in various divisions, which would not have been possible at every company.”

We would like to thank Claudio Amstutz for his many years of dedication in the various operating areas of Air Zermatt and wish him all the best for the future, both professionally and personally.

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