Location and history
Geneva Airport dates back to September 1920, when the federal government authorised the Canton of Geneva to develop an airfield. Commercial air traffic commenced in 1922, with services to Zurich, Lyons and Paris. The first hard runway was originally planned in 1936, but construction only began during World War II. The runway was 2,000 metres long and in May 1947 it was used for the first flight between Switzerland and the USA. The first terminal was opened in 1949, with a handling capacity of one million passengers a year. The existing terminal was opened in 1968, and has since been expanded several times. It was originally designed to handle around five million passengers, though in 2008 it handled a total of 11.5 million.
The airport was operated by the cantonal authorities until 1994, after which it became an independent entity under the name “Aéroport International de Genève”.
Infrastructure and capacity
Geneva International Airport has one main concrete runway (3,900 metres long and 50 metres wide), plus a grass strip measuring 850 by 25 metres. There are two terminals, one of which (the original one dating from 1949) is reserved for charter flights during the winter months.
Geneva International Airport is an important factor in the economic development of the entire region, including across the border in France. More than 8,500 people are employed at the airport, and at least as many depend directly on its activities. The airport's direct economic impact is estimated at more than 8 billion Swiss francs a year.
The declared objective of Geneva International Airport is to optimally meet the demand for air travel by political and business players in the region. The presence of international governmental and non-governmental organisations, sports organisations, and headquarters of multinationals means that Geneva needs to provide the best possible international flight network, especially within Europe.
Geneva International Airport is also the main gateway for tourism (particularly during the winter months) for the entire French-speaking part of Switzerland, as well as for the neighbouring regions of France.
Projects / Outlook
In 2007, Geneva International Airport defined a master plan for the period up to 2015, in which it declared its intention to expand the main terminal (Terminal 1), and redevelop the landside commercial zone and transit area. The plan also includes the introduction of the new “one-stop security” concept in 2009, which involves the reorganisation of passenger security check facilities, and implementation of the Schengen Agreement as of 29 March 2009. For the latter purpose, Geneva International Airport constructed a separate dock. The investments for these projects, which were entirely self-financed, amounted to more than 200 million Swiss francs.
(not for operational & aeronautical use / no official publication)