Air Zermatt steps into the future with innovations
Air Zermatt AG was able to present various innovations to its shareholders at its 53rd general meeting on Riffelalp above Zermatt. These included a new type of rescue bag and an ingenious system for mounting aircraft warning spheres. In addition, Air Zermatt pilots will now be trained on a modern flight simulator.
At the General Assembly in Zermatt, Philipp Perren, chairman of the board of directors, explained this pleasing result mainly with the more than 6,700 (2020: 5,828) flight hours flown, which means the highest number of flight hours since the foundation of Air Zermatt AG. The number of rescue missions also reached a proud result with 1,785 missions. In contrast, the number of ambulance missions declined. In 2021, Air Zermatt AG recorded 827 transports, compared to 858 transports last year.
Innovations by Air Zermatt
Air Zermatt AG has developed a new rescue bag in cooperation with MK-Med and PAX. In February 2022, it was approved under MDR (Medical Direct Regulation), which is the highest level of approval. Except for patient flights from medical practices or transfers as such, the newly developed rescue bag is used for virtually all patient transports in helicopters. This bag, which was developed in collaboration with Air Zermatt, will also be used by Rega, with slight modifications, and Rega will thus be able to benefit from this latest innovation from Air Zermatt.
At the General Assembly, President Philipp Perren also presented a new system for changing elements such as pilot warning spheres etc. on lines, which was developed by Simon Anthammatten and Robert Andenmatten, both pilots of Air Zermatt. This SiRoTi system allows, among other things, a faster, safer and more efficient change of pilot warning spheres, spirals, spacers, or repairs to lines and cableway cables. "The improved technology simplifies the 'workload' of the pilot and fitters and increases their safety," Perren said.
Virtual reality for training purposes
Air Zermatt also invested in a new type of VR/motion simulator during the past fiscal year. This state-of-the-art simulator was installed at the base in Zermatt and not only generates images for the pilot, but movements also physically create the impression of flying. "In this way, Air Zermatt will in future be able to train its pilots additionally on the innovative simulator from VRM Switzerland," said President Philipp Perren to the shareholders present.
The end of an era
With wistfulness, Philipp Perren looked back on half a century of the Lama helicopter serving the pilots of Air Zermatt under the toughest conditions. In December 2021, a private pilot rented the Lama and damaged it during a landing on the Alphubel in such a way that the machine suffered a total loss.
At the General Meeting, Perren thanked all employees for their extraordinary commitment in the past business year: "Air Zermatt counts on outstanding employees with great solidarity to the company. They are prepared to do extraordinary things." In this context, Perren directed a special thank you to Dr. Axel Mann, who held the position of medical director at Air Zermatt from 1983 to 2020. "Dr. Axel Mann has certainly made Air Zermatt's medical service among the best in the world," said Perren, paying tribute to the company's longtime medical director. He added that special thanks also to Philippe Imboden, who has played a key role in shaping Air Zermatt as a member of the Executive Board since 2000. Both have retired in the spring of 2022.
The new rescue bag PAX Air Zermatt was created in cooperation with MK-Med and PAX. | © Michi Portmann