On 5 July 2022, Alain Berset, Switzerland’s interior minister, took to the skies piloting a Cessna 182, a small 4-seat light aircraft. At 4:23 pm he passed close to a French military base, triggering the intervention of two French military jets, reported Blick.
Two French fighter jets forced Berset, who was flying solo, to land. After checking his identity he was allowed to continue his flight.
After initially taking off in Switzerland Berset landed in Dole, France around 3 pm where he cleared French customs. He then took off in the direction of Châtellerault in central-west France after receiving flight authorisation. However, at 4:23 pm he briefly flew into a no-fly-zone surrounding the French military aerodrome in Avord between Dole and Châtellerault. It appears he misunderstood information he received by radio believing he could continue straight when he was supposed to avoid the zone.
France has initiated no charges against the Swiss minister nor are any planned, according to a diplomatic letter, reported RTS.
Alain Berset obtained his private pilots’ licence in 2009 and occasionally rents and pilots light aircraft.