Montag, 01.03.2021 05:45 Uhr

WEF2020 – Air Force One visit ZRH again.

Verantwortlicher Autor: Daniele Maiolo BSA Wetzikon ZH, 17.02.2020, 14:43 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Aeronautics and Aerospace Bericht 4492x gelesen
U.S. President Donald Trump Aircraft again visited Zurich airport in January 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump Aircraft again visited Zurich airport in January 2020  Bild: Daniele Maiolo - @Daniele Maiolo (Best Shot Aircraft)

Wetzikon ZH [ENA] WEF2020, the annual world economic forum that takes place in Davos in Switzerland this year at the 50th meeting, is not only an important appointment for many world leaders, is an eagerly awaited appointment for many flight enthusiasts to view their planes and more VIP planes.

Both in the weeks preceding the event and during the 3 meeting days between planes of the various world air forces and private jets, the airspace above Switzerland is constantly occupied and requires a great deal of both civilian air traffic control personnel and military personnel to the defense of the Swiss skies. Theme of the Forum this year was "Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world" and among the guests, who meet strictly behind closed doors, for this year meeting there was the presence of characters such as Christine Lagarde (President European Central Bank), Greta Thunberg (Climate&Environmental Activist), Deepika Padukone (Founder Live Love Laugh Foundation), Angela Merkel (Federal Chancellor of Germany).

Together with these important figures of the world political and economic panorama the most awaited world leader: Donald Trump, President of the United States of America. The presence of the American president means for many fans the arrival of Air Force One, the call sign of the USAF VC-25A, operated by the 89th Airlift Wing, Presidential Airlift Group (PAG) of Andrews AFB in Maryland (USA), which transports the President all over the world and which is always accompanied by a considerable movement of vehicles and equipment to guarantee the safety of one of the most powerful world leaders. Already in 2018, with Trump's invitation to his first WEF as US President, we had appreciated the presence of the prestigious Boeing aircraft.

The VC-25A is a Boeing 747-200, greatly modified both as a structure and as an engine and has special safety features, its interior has been reconfigured for the needs of the American president. Only two examples of this aircraft type are in service and having tail numbers 28000 and 29000. On board Air Force One there is always a doctor who has an adequate health facility with an surgical table, defibrillator, emergency medical supplies and a complete pharmacy. The president has his own private room which includes a cloakroom, bathroom and office. Whenever Air Force One attends an event, it lands with its left side facing the crowd as an additional security measure to protect the side where the president resides.

There are also separate rooms for guests, staff, secret services, security personnel and in some cases for journalists. For each trip of the American president, both VC-25As fly simultaneously. From 2021, a new pair of Boeing 747-8I, which have been significantly modified and are under preparation at the moment, should enter service, replacing the current pair of aircraft. Their USAF name will be: VC-25B and they will be the new “Air Force One ". The two Boeing 747s arrived in the morning of 21st January in Zurich, one of the two was parked near the Swiss maintenance hangars while the second left for the Ramstein AFB shortly after the American president left the Zurich airport at aboard Marine One to travel to Davos.

The two B747s met again the day after, hidden by the hangars of the Zurich airport to wait for Donald Trump's arrival and leave for the States, President Trump had to use his many land vehicles, which arrived in the days before board of two Lockheed Martin C-5M Super Galaxy, to return to Zurich due to the heavy fog that enveloped Switzerland on that day. Switzerland, as every year, for its part has guaranteed territorial and air safety with an important deployment of air and land vehicles, flight restrictions and safety provisions for the areas involved in the Forum. The presence of Air Force One also required strong law enforcement intervention for the security of Zurich airport where one of the two B747s stayed for two days.

The American President for his movements across the US border, (in addition to two identical USAF Boeing 747s) use two helicopters, identical, Sikorsky VH-60N White Hawk of the Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) in livery green and white that with the president on board take the call sign: "Marine One". The helicopters arrived by transportation with two Boeing C-17 Globemaster III USAFs and were accompanied by two other Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk for the presidential escort.

The presence of Air Force One is always a show that brings many fans to the places where it lands, Zurich Airport now in the first month of each year is the “meeting point” for many photographers and aviation enthusiasts. This was the case even this year and so will it be for any future WEF event in Davos.

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