Flights halted at Samedan

No planes will be permitted to land at the airport in Samedan, near St Moritz, until the authorities there have met international guidelines for clearing snow.

This content was published on February 16, 2009 - 20:04

The Federal Civil Aviation Office imposed the ban on Monday, as part of its investigation into a fatal crash at the mountain airport on Thursday.

A Falcon jet smashed into a bank of snow and broke up, killing two of its occupants and seriously injuring a third.

Investigators said the walls of snow around the runway were between 1.5 and four meters high, whereas they should not exceed one meter. Furthermore, the runway had only been cleared to a width of eight meters instead of ten.

The office said it may demand further steps in the light of its investigations. Other Swiss aerodromes will be examined in the next few days to check that they are conforming to the guidelines.

The airport at Samedan is Europe's highest, at 1707 meters. Thursday's accident was the first fatal jet crash in the airport's history.

Articles in this story

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.