125th anniversary of First Zionist Congress on 29 August in Basel: military support service and airspace restriction
Bern, 29.06.2022 - In its meeting of 29 June, the Federal Council approved temporarily restricting airspace during the celebrations to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress in Basel. The Air Force will provide air policing services and additional airspace surveillance for the event. The military will also set up a support service with up to 700 soldiers to complement civilian authorities’ security measures.
On 29 August, celebrations will be held in Basel to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress, which will be attended by around 1,200 guests, including high-level representatives. The Canton of Basel-Stadt has requested support from the Confederation and subsidiary support from the Armed Forces for the event.
In order to ensure the security of the event and in addition to the decision already made on 22 June to contribute to security costs, the Federal Council has approved a temporary airspace restriction, which will be limited to the airspace above the Basel Stadtcasino concert hall. The restriction will be active as needed on 28 and 29 August. Commercial flights to and from Basel-Mulhouse International Airport will not be affected. The airspace restriction is necessary to ensure the security of the event – according to international law, Switzerland has an obligation to ensure the security of persons in need of special protection. The Swiss Air Force will provide air policing services and additional airspace surveillance.
The Armed Forces’ involvement
The Federal Council has also approved the subsidiary deployment of up to 700 soldiers to support Basel-Stadt’s cantonal authorities. In particular, the Armed Forces will carry out surveillance, reconnaissance and air transport tasks, and will be providing equipment for Basel’s cantonal police. These measures will complement the cantonal authorities’ security measures. They will be financed as part of the Armed Forces’ regular budget at no additional cost to the Confederation.
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