Security incursion at Geneva Airport


At dawn on Tuesday 27 December, Geneva Airport experienced a security incursion. Five passengers coming from the French sector passed through two emergency exits under alarm to get to the boarding gate.
These gates separate two areas with different security requirements, so an intrusion of this kind requires an evacuation of the affected area.

At precisely 5.50am on Tuesday morning, an alarm sounded in the terminal near baggage claim, followed by a second alarm. Two alarmed doors were forced open: emergency exits in case of an emergency evacuation. Five people used this strictly forbidden route to get to their boarding gates, without passing through security.

Geneva Airport's emergency plan provides for a strict procedure for this type of incursion. This procedure meets the international standards that all airports are required to meet. A security incursion is the equivalent of making an area considered "clean" (with a prior security check) "dirty" (without a prior security check). The procedure consists of evacuating the affected area, so that the safety of passengers and platform employees can be guaranteed at all times.

To this end, Geneva Airport surveillance teams, in immediate collaboration with the police, are working hard to restore the affected areas. This morning, 16 employees of the surveillance service took on various search missions, security/access control patrols and flow management in order to be able to resume operations as quickly as possible.

As of 06:45, approximately 4,000 passengers were evacuated from the main terminal at check-in level. In the 06:10 to 12:35 time slot, 65 flights were delayed by an average of two hours each. No flights were cancelled at this time, but there may be consequences for the rest of the day, especially at the end of the day. In this same period, we can see by partial verification that on average two passengers per flight may have missed their flight.

As the main terminal was heavily congested with people, Geneva Airport's Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (ARFF) was directly involved in the first aid mission, mobilising six firemen, three ambulance drivers, four members of the infirmary and a doctor from the Cantonal Health Brigade (BSC) in the terminal. A total of ten minor ailments were quickly treated.

Between 11.30am and midday, all the teams that had come as reinforcements to ensure the continuity of operations under the best possible conditions and a return to normalcy were able to lift their support systems.

This day of 27 December is not the busiest of the Christmas holidays. We are now expecting around 46,000 passengers in total.