Learning to fly


Emmen military airfield

The piercing roar of Patrouille Suisse fighter jets echoing through the mountains will sound familiar to most Swiss. Fitters from Gilgen Door Systems have experienced it up close: at Emmen airfield, where Swiss military pilots are educated and trained, Gilgen has installed numerous sliding gates and gate operators. And this was done on two hangars that are used for the maintenance and repair of military aircraft. The massive six-metre-high hangar doors open a full 37 metres - smoothly automated thanks to Gilgen's work.

However, the Gilgen constructors are not allowed to reveal whether aircraft actually took off and landed during working hours: The entire operation took place under the strictest secrecy. Taking photographs was forbidden - no one pulled out their mobile phone during assembly. Everything was strictly monitored and every move was supervised by security guards. Stefan Lerch, the project manager, smiles when he remembers: "Even when we went to the toilet, a security guard accompanied us''.

In other respects, too, the work took place under unusual conditions. The installation was carried out during the ongoing operations of RUAG AG, the Swiss Armed Forces' technology partner, under tight space conditions. Strict specifications regarding installation deadlines and implementation regulations had to be adhered to, which was achieved excellently thanks to very good cooperation with CreaTor AG. Gilgen is pleased to be able to support the fighter pilots in training during take-off.

Gilgen durfte selbst keine Fotos machen – auf dem Bild von Google Street View ist der Flugplatz zu erkennen.