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History of the Control Tower of Sion

The control tower is built within the military part of the airport. At first, it was used only for management of the military traffic. Since 1966, when the radio became obligatory on the airport of Sion, it is used also for the civil traffic. Until 1991, the military aircrafts and the civil aircrafts used separate frequencies. The unification of the frequencies was imposed by the introduction of the civil IFR.
The air controllers formed part of the personnel of the military air base of Sion until 2001, date of the reunification of air navigation services in Switzerland and foundation of Skyguide.

Some dates

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YearPeriodEventPicture
1943The first tower was built for the use of the swiss military aviation. It was occupied by a radio operator on request only.
1952The tower is permanently occupied during the military activity.
1956Two air traffic controller are hired. Construction of the dome of the control tower
1959A third air traffic controller is hired
1965The fourth air traffic controller is hired. The air traffic controllers obtain their licence for the management of the civil traffic. The controllers form part of the radio workshop.
1969The radio workshop moves in another building.
1971Three air traffic controller ae hired.
1972The control tower separates from the radio workshop
1972The use of the radio becomes obligatory for the civil traffic. The air trafiic controllers also work during the weekend. Seven people form the manpower of the tower
1976Two air traffic controllers are hired.
1979The manpower of the tower passes gradually from ten to fifteen people.
1980The commune of Sion engages two air traffic controllers.
1982Manpower is composed of eleven controllers, two heads of department of flight and two AIS employees. The civil and military traffics are regulated simultaneously and entirely by the military control tower 365 days per year.
1984One controller is hired by the commune of Sion. Replacement of the dome of the control tower
1989Two controllers are engaged by the commune of Sion and one by the Federal Office for Air Force Logistics
1990Installation of the systems of navigation: Localiser, DME SIO et MOT VOR.
1991Installation of Bright Display for radar guidance. All controllers engaged by the commune of Sion are re-engaged by the Federal Office for Air Force Logisitcs.
1994AutumnStart of the construction works of the new control tower. See pictures
1996OctoberThe new control tower is open
1996The frequency of the control tower changes from 118.550 Mhz to 118.275 Mhz.
1997SpringDemolition of the old tower. See pictures
2001the 1st of JanuaryThe controllers are re-engaged by skyguide.
2002The runway direction changes from 26-08 to 25-07
2004the 23rd of DecemberNew IFR departure procedures.
2005the 26th of MarchThe website is published.
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