Swiss military planes prepare stadium no-fly zone policy
Military planes are securing airspace over the stadiums on match days – two hours before and two hours after the games.5 June 2008
GENEVA - Military planes flew over the European Championship stadiums in Switzerland on Wednesday to prepare a "no-fly zone" policy on match days.
"The role of the air force is to secure the airspace over the stadiums, two hours before the games, during the games and two hours after the games," Swiss air force spokesman Juerg Nussbaum told The Associated Press.
Other flights over the venues are only possible with authorisation from the air force, he said.
Security organisers also plan to use unmanned drone planes to monitor fans from the skies above Basel and Zurich, where games will be played.
The Swiss air force is cooperating with its Austrian colleagues during the 7-29 June tournament.
"It is an important, big and very demanding operation," Nussbaum said. "The engagement of the Swiss army is on a very high level, both on land and in the air.
"We will impose a restricted area that we'll survey and make sure everything is done according to the rules."
Police in Basel and Zurich will use the army's "Ranger" drones to monitor the flow of people and traffic. A drone will cruise over Basel at an altitude of between 1,000-1,500 metres and send images to the police operation centre, said Klaus Mannhart, spokesman for Basel cantonal police.
"It provides us with a good overview," Mannhart said.
The pictures would not be recorded, nor would they identify individual people or car registration plates, he said.
Bern police commanders have the option to deploy drones as needed, but the planes can't be used over the city of Geneva.
[AP / Expatica]