Jürg V. Schmid
Pilot, Head of Safety Management Division at Skyguide
Jürg Schmid (1944) initially started Phil I studies in Zurich but after qualifying as a military pilot he joined the Swiss air training academy and qualified as a pilot for Swissair. During his military career, he carried out a variety of roles from squadron leader to Deputy Head of an airborne regiment and Head of Operations for the ground-attack resources of the Swiss Air Force.
He started his civilian flying career as a co-pilot on short-haul flights and progressed to captain on long-haul services (1974) flying DC 9 aircraft. During this period he also worked as an instructor and check pilot both in the air and on simulators. Following training on the Airbus 310, he became Deputy Head of the Airbus fleet where he remained until 1990 when he became Head of the Boeing 747 fleet. In 1995, he was appointed Head of the Swissair Safety Department and continued in this role with the formation of the new Airline Swiss until 2006. During this period he also held various international positions, e.g. Chairman of the Safety Committee of IATA and the Accident Classification Task Force of IATA.
In mid 2006, he became Head of Safety at Skyguide, the organization responsible for the safety of civilian and military flights in Switzerland. He pushed through a reorganisation setting up the Department of Safety, Security and Quality, becoming its Chief Safety Officer and a member of executive management.
Jürg Schmid has worked closely with safety issues for many years and so has developed contacts in both domestic and foreign nuclear power stations. He has also given several presentations at the Executive Management Seminars run by WANO. In 2008, he started a master’s degree at the University of Lund and during 2009 will stand down from his executive functions and spend more time on safety issues.