1919 - 1949

  • 11 October 1919: the Geneva Grand Council passes a law setting up an “aviation field” about 4 km north of the city, near the village of Cointrin, as well as a credit of CHF 675,000 for its acquisition and development.
  • 2 September 1920: the Federal Air Office authorises the commercial exploitation in Cointrin.
  • 23 September 1920: landing of the first aircraft, a Haefeli D.H. 3, Swiss construction, driven by the military aviator Edgar Primault.
  • 1922: opening of the first commercial lines, Geneva-Lausanne-Paris, Geneva-Lyon, Geneva-Zurich-Munich-Nuremberg.
  • 21 May 1922: official opening of the Airport in a meeting attended by 18 aircrafts. The airport covers 54 hectares and has only a small administrative building with a bar on the ground floor, as well as two wooden sheds able to accommodate approximately 10 aircrafts. It has however a radio and direction-finding facility.
  • 1926-1931: construction of masonry hangars with metal frame.
  • 1928: the air service network consists of six lines.
  • 1935: the Grand Council adopts a development project and decides to open a credit of CHF 3,112,000.
  • 1937: construction of the first concrete runway, 405 m long and 21 m wide, linked by paved tracks to the airport apron area.
  • 1940: a decision is made to expand the concrete runway to 1065 meters, to enlarge the airport apron area, to install a lighting device, a new network of radio equipment, and to build a new terminal.
  • August 1946: the concrete runway is brought to 2000 meters. The total area of the lands covers more than 210 hectares.
  • 2 May 1947: Captain Walter Borner makes the first Geneva-New York-Geneva connection on a Swissair DC-4.
  • 20 May 1949: entry into service of the new terminal, scheduled for 300,000 passengers, a figure that would be exceeded in less than five years.

1950 - 1989

  • 1956-1958: Swiss and French Parliaments adopt a convention authorizing an exchange of land between Geneva and France, in order to allow the construction of a 3900-meter long runway; in exchange, the new terminal would include a “French Sector” accessible from France via a customs-free road; the total area of the airport becomes 325 hectares.
  • 17 July 1959: first landing of a commercial aircraft, a Caravelle of SAS.
  • Summer 1960: commissioning of the 3900 m runway.
  • 1962: beginning of construction works at a new terminal.
  • 17 May 1968: inauguration of the new terminal, planned for 5 million passengers.
  • 1985: the threshold of 5 million passengers is exceeded.
  • 31 May 1987: entry into service of the “Aéroport” railway station of the Swiss Federal Railways.
  • 17 May 1988: inauguration of the new cargo terminal.
  • 23 December 1988: entry into service of the “charters terminal”; the old terminal was renovated to be used mainly during winter weekends.
  • December 1989: entry into service of the new “Swissair-IATA” centre.

1990 - 1999

  • 1990: the threshold of 6 million passengers is exceeded for the first time (6,020,355).
  • 9 October 1993: inauguration of the new restaurants of the airport in the presence of the American astronaut “Buzz” Aldrin.
  • 10 June 1993: the Grand Council passes a law establishing the institution Geneva International Airport, autonomous Swiss government agency (Établissement Public Autonome Aéroport International de Genève).
  • 1 January 1994: entry into force of the new Statute of the Airport; Jean-Philippe Maitre, State Councillor, head of the Department of Economic Affairs, becomes Chairman of the Board of Directors.
  • 27 May 1994: the Board of Directors decides to equip satellites 30 and 40 with telescopic air bridges.
  • 30 December 1994: the new absolute record stands at 6,048,760 passengers.
  • 24 March 1995: the Board of Directors adopts the modernization and adaptation plan of the Airport (400 million Swiss francs of investments until 2005).
  • 9 September 1995: more than 70,000 people at the airport and around, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the airport: the Swiss patrol, two Concorde, one B777, one Airbus A330, many older aircrafts were present.
  • October 1995: partial commissioning, on the occasion of Telecom 95, of the lateral extension of the Terminal at arrival, registration and departure level.
  • 4 April 1996: Swissair announces its decision to withdraw, starting winter 1996-1997 timetable, most of its long-haul flights departing from Geneva; only the connections with New York and Washington remain.
  • 25 April 1996: upon the conference regarding the 1995 balance sheet of the Geneva International Airport, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Jean-Philippe Maitre, claims the “Geneva Open Sky”, that is foreign companies benefit from the possibility to serve Geneva for intercontinental flights with the so-called “fifth freedom” rights.
  • 8 May 1996: the Federal Council issues a statement undertaking to remove the legal monopoly of Swissair by removing Article 103 of the Aviation Act; on the other hand, it announces that it would practice from than on a more liberal policy for obtaining the “fifth freedom”.
  • 27 June 1996: inauguration of the lateral extension of the Terminal, whose works had begun in 1992, and which cost 113 million Swiss francs.
  • 24 April 1997: begins the renovation of the large aircraft building, built in 1974 as a provisional construction.
  • 2 May 1997: celebration, together with Swissair, of the 50th anniversary of the first Geneva - New York flight; on this occasion, Swissair chartered a DC-4 that made the same flight.
  • 8 December 1997: Carlo Lamprecht, State Counsellor, head of the Department of Economy, Employment and External Affairs, follows Jean-Philippe Maitre at the chairmanship of the Board of Directors.
  • 16 December 1997: the Geneva International Airport becomes a “smoke-free but not smoking-free” airport; if it is now forbidden to smoke in all public areas of the terminal, smoking areas are installed at all levels.
  • 13 June 1998: several thousands of people come to the airport to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Airport Security Services (SSA).
  • 3 September 1998: the MD-11 effecting flight SR111 New York-Geneva crashes into the sea off the coast of Halifax (Canada), with 249 people aboard.
  • 7 October 1998: Swisscontrol inaugurates its new air navigation building; at the same time, the company installs its headquarters in Geneva.
  • 15 November 1998: enactment of the revised Aviation Act; Swissair monopoly ends, however with a transitional period that the Geneva International Airport considers too long.
  • January 1999: the Geneva International Airport makes its presence on the web with its site www.gva.ch.
  • 22 March 1999: triumphant return of Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones at the Geneva International Airport, who had just completed the first trip round the world in a balloon; thousands of people await them before the large hangar.
  • 18 May 1999: the airport publishes its first Environmental Report.
  • 1 July 1999: the airport commissions a system for the supply of energy and fluids to aircrafts; the use of APU is now prohibited at the eight positions of satellites 30 and 40.
  • 2-3 July 1999: the airport organizes its first “Rollers’ Night”; 2000 skaters take the runway from 11.30 pm to 1.00 am.
  • 12-15 September 1999: the Geneva International Airport is the host of the ninth Airports World Congress, organized by Airports Council International (ACI), whose world headquarters is located in our Terminal; 644 delegates from 87 countries are received in Geneva.
  • 23 September 1999: the Geneva International Airport files an action with the Federal Court against the two laws voted on 10 June 1999 by the Geneva Grand Council, transferring to the airport the payment of CHF 60 million of compensation due by the State of Geneva to the residents of the airport’s vicinity.
  • 30 December 1999: the Geneva International Airport welcomes its 7 millionth passenger of the year, new absolute record.

2000 - 2009

  • 20 June 2000: commissioning of the West Wing.
  • 30 October 2000: the operations building (Bat'Ops) located between the West Wing and the control tower becomes operational.
  • 18-20 April 2001: first edition of EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition), European Trade Show for Business Aviation, on the tarmac of the Geneva International Airport and in Hall 7 of Palexpo.
  • 23 June 2001: the 100% hold baggage control is operational at the Geneva International Airport.
    December 2001: Thanks to the talent of designer Gerald Poussin 500 swallows “invade” the check-in lounge to symbolize, according to the wish of the Fondation pour Genève, the migrations witnessed by our airport.
  • 4 March 2002: inauguration and commissioning of C3, made by the Geneva International Airport and PrivatAir, dedicated to business aviation.
    June 2002: inauguration of the new diplomatic lounges and the new press room.
  • 8 March 2003: the Geneva International Airport celebrates America's Cup and welcomes winner Alinghi.
  • 1-3 June 2003: Summit of the “enlarged” G8, the Geneva International Airport is transformed into entrenched camp to accommodate the leaders of this world.
  • July 2003: commissioning of the two first new front departure lounges, positions 9 and 10.
  • 30 December 2003: for the first time, the Geneva International Airport exceed the threshold of 8 million passengers in one year.
  • 14 December 2004: inauguration of the new frontal departure lounges (NSEF), put into service on 22 December.
  • 15 December 2005: the 9 millionth passenger of the year is celebrated at the Geneva International Airport; in total, 9,410,917 passengers have passed through the airport in 2005, i.e. a 9.4% increase.
  • 19 June 2006: the Geneva International Airports puts online a new version of its GVA.CH website, which has been completely updated: structure, look, management tool, etc.
  • 19 December 2006: inauguration of the new exercise aircraft of the Airport Security Service (SSA), a Boeing 737-200 that replaces the venerable DC-7C in service since 1975.
  • 1 January 2007: the Geneva International Airports announces a new absolute traffic record in 2006; with 9,962,987 passengers, the 10 million-passenger threshold is almost reached, a 5.9% increase as compared to the previous year.
  • 9 January 2007: the smoking ban implemented in 1997 is reinforced; now, it is completely forbidden to smoke in the public area of the Airport (“land side”), only a few spaces are kept in transit (“air side”) pending the reorganization of this space.
  • 30 January 2007: the Geneva Airport presents its 2007-2015 master plan: meet the predicted growth of air traffic, improve passenger comfort and streamline passengers’ flows, integrate the future constraints of the “One Stop Security” and the application of the Schengen Agreements, strengthen commercial attractiveness of the Geneva International Airport. Specifically, it will result in a new lateral extension of the Terminal to the west side, a redevelopment of the transit area; these achievements would become effective in 2009; a next step will be the development of the East Wing intended to replace large aircraft building.
  • 2 July 2007: Geneva Airport begins works on “T1+”, namely the lateral extension of the main terminal, first stage of the 2007-2015 Master Plan.
  • 12 November 2007: beginning of the construction works of “Satellite 10”, dedicated to bus boarding and built to cope with the greater than expected increase in passenger traffic, as well as with the implementation of the Schengen Agreements at the end of 2008.
  • 7 December 2007: Geneva Airport has the pleasure of welcoming its ten millionth passenger of the year, a new absolute record in its history.
  • 12 December 2007: signature of an agreement between the Airport and UNIRESO whose purpose is to offer air passengers arriving in Geneva a ticket allowing them to travel free of charge in the “All Geneva” area for 80 minutes.
  • 2 January 2008: Geneva International Airport records a new absolute traffic record in 2007 with 10,845,545 passengers, a 9.5% increase as compared to 2006.
  • 22 April 2008: Geneva International Airport joins the aviation world by signing the “Declaration on Climate Change”, as more than 300 other airports.
  • 5 June 2008: EURO 2008 generates numerous flights at Geneva International Airport to bring supporters, athletes and politicians.
  • 8 October 2008: Geneva International Airport celebrates the 20th anniversary of the commissioning of the cargo hall.
  • 20 November 2008: Geneva International Airport inaugurates its Satellite 10, which complements its existing boarding lounges and enables it to address the constraints arising from the implementation of the Schengen Agreements.
  • 12 December 2008: removal of systematic controls at the land borders of Switzerland, following the entry into force of the Agreements on Switzerland’s association with the Schengen Area that the Swiss people adopted in 2005. This Agreement provides for the free movement of people in 24 countries of the Schengen Area.
  • 16 December 2008: Geneva International Airport has the pleasure of welcoming its eleven millionth passenger of the year, a new absolute record in its history.
  • 29 March 2009: implementation of the Schengen Agreement. Geneva International Airport adapted its infrastructure to meet these new requirements, by separating Schengen and non-Schengen passengers. Airport apron was also modified. These developments generated 30 million Swiss francs of investments.
  • 18 May 2009: Geneva International Airport is designated winner of the “Pan European Workplace Mobility Plan Award 2009” (European prize for corporate mobility).

Since 2010

GVA : Urgences