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Davos locals Elisabeth Mani-Heldstab

Elisabeth Mani-Heldstab lives next to the temporary WEF helipad, where officials and delegates attending the annual forum sometimes land. During the WEF she needs a special permit in order to drive to and from her own home. (Kristian Kapp,

Elisabeth Mani-Heldstab has been living in the Davos district of Stilli since 1981, which has been home to the WEF’s temporary helipad for the past ten years.

Heads of state, ministers and other VIPs who arrive at Davos by helicopter land just next to her house, which is based in a security area with no public access.

When the WEF is on, she has to use a special pass in order to drive to and from her house. Sometimes, when a VIP is arriving, she has to stay home for up to an hour.

“But it doesn’t bother me,” she says. “The heliport people are very friendly. Generally we can come and go as we like.”

However, during the WEF, she and her family are unable to receive visitors if they don’t give any prior warning.

“If you know what the forum means for Davos you accept the restrictions,” she says, adding that one thing annoys her. “When the helicopters fly over the house. But the pilots almost always try to avoid doing so and make a detour.” 

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