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A look back at 2022

Passenger numbers hit an air pocket between the end of 2021 and the start of 2022, affected by the Omicron variant and new travel restrictions. Around 695,000 passengers were recorded in January, 52% fewer than in 2019.

Sandy Bouchat is appointed as the new Head of communications.

The appearance of the Omicron virus in November 2021 unleashed a new batch of restrictions and quarantine measures. It was said to be highly infectious and there was considerable nervousness. The peak was passed in early February, then almost all restrictions were lifted after 17 February. The easing opened the way for a strong rebound in passenger numbers.

Twenty or so Ukrainian children suffering from cancer landed on the tarmac on 18 March. Genève Aéroport took part in a chain of solidarity organised by the charity Zoé4life so the young patients could receive suitable treatment in Switzerland.


Children arrive in an emergency (french)

The French sector for handling passengers resumes normal operations. New equipment related to the installation of the new baggage sorting and check-in desk system (BLC-NCIS) provides an extra level of passenger comfort.

Nathalie Rossier-Iten is appointed as the new Head of environment and Sustainable Development. She takes over from Marc Mounier, who shifts to become Head of Regulatory Projects.

The last two ecobuses out of a total order of ten units go into service.

Nouveaux Ecobus à Genève Aéroport

A spectacular fire breaks out in the late afternoon at the future asylum seekers’ centre on the chemin du Bois-Brûlé on the edge of the airport. Thick black smoke and exploding gas cannisters force the airport to stop traffic for almost two hours. Eleven scheduled flights and three private ones had to be re-routed to other airports; 22 departures from Geneva were cancelled.

Explosions near the runway

Firefighters on the front line (french)

After two years in which it was cancelled due to COVID, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) returns to Geneva at Palexpo and on a large part of the tarmac. Business aviation issues a declaration undertaking to promote biofuels as a way of cutting CO2 emissions.

From 12 to 15 June 2022 Geneva hosted the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (CM12) at its headquarters in Geneva. More than 200 ministers passed through the airport. During the event, the Swiss Air Force was present on the tarmac with a detachment of specialists and five helicopters

The Swiss air traffic control system Skyguide suffers a major technical incident requiring all flights in Switzerland to be suspended by way of precaution from 4:45 am to 8:30 am. The consequences in Geneva are 54 flight cancellations over the day. The independent enquiry published on 19 December 2022 concludes that the incident was due to a computer failure and the decision to close the airspace was appropriate.

Several months after going into service on 14 December 2021, the East Wing is officially inaugurated in front of 300 guests. Once initial technical issues caused by the building’s advanced technology (walkways, automatic gates, etc.) had been overcome, the new wing showed what it is capable of by welcoming 4.48 million passengers in 2022.

East Wing

Presentation (french)

With the courts having declared the decision by the Council of State of Geneva to appoint a new president invalid, Corine Moinat and the government of Geneva issue a joint communique announcing her resignation as President with effect from 30th June and appointing Pierre Bernheim to take over from 1st July.

A successful launch of a bond with a 2.20% coupon and a term of four years raises CHF 100 million. The issue allows the cash management strategy of Genève Aéroport to be put into practice.

Genève Aéroport officially inaugurates the VIP suite, renamed the Espace Kofi Annan. This event had originally been scheduled for spring 2020, but was delayed because of the pandemic.

Kofi Annan Area

Official opening (french)

Genève Aéroport has been working with partners and suppliers for several weeks to draw up an energy shortage strategy. The Ostral task force is put in place, named after the national organisation set up to ensure electricity supplies in the event of a crisis. The preparations for a shortage complete the work already put in by Genève Aéroport to cut consumption as part of the Exemplary Energy and Climate initiative organised by the Swiss Confederation.

A major new solar energy facility on the roof of the East Wing goes into service. 6,700 m2 of photovoltaic panels will generate enough energy to meet the consumption of the terminal, which is highly energy-efficient. The huge installation, financed and operated by SIG, makes the East Wing the third-largest solar roof in the canton. Ultimately the airport is aiming to have a total of 55,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels in place by 2030.

East Wing

Solar power plant (french)

Jean-Marc Thévenaz, Head of easyJet Switzerland, made his last flight as a captain. Two days short of his 65th birthday he took the controls in the cockpit for the final time.

Last flight

Jean-Marc Thévenaz (french)

The Cantonal Inspection and Labour Relations Office (OCIRT) publishes the zones applicable for the new flat-rate fares for taxi journeys to and from the airport in the Canton of Geneva.

The emergency drill held on the night from 24 to 25 November at Genève Aéroport was based on two aircraft on fire, with four people dead and 17 wounded. The aim was to test and evaluate airport employees’ ability to react in the event of a serious emergency. The drill was a success!

Crisis exercise


Amongst other things the Swiss Confederation approves the amendments to the operating regulations for Genève Aéroport and the new permitted noise contour submitted in 2019. This document now includes the objectives in the Sectoral Plan for Aviation Infrastructure (PSIA). The decision makes it possible to take action to combat noise from air traffic.

Starting in 2026, Genève Aéroport will switch from using fossil fuels to heat and cool its buildings by hooking up to the green GeniLac thermal heating network from SIG. The site is essential for the energy transition and was officially launched at a ceremony held on 29th November.

Cérémonie Genilac

Just a few days after a large-scale night-time preparation exercise for winter, snow fell on Geneva. This was the first snow on the tarmac in winter 2022/2023 and the teams were mobilised for more than 18 hours, starting at 2:45 in the morning.


First snow

A security breach occurred at Genève Aéroport at dawn on Tuesday 27th December. Five passengers coming from the French sector passed through two emergency exits fitted with alarms to reach the boarding gate. The airport surveillance teams worked closely with the police to conduct an evacuation and then perform a new security check on almost 4,000 passengers.

Over 2022 as a whole Genève Aéroport welcomed 14,085,280 passengers,137.8% more than in 2021 but 21.4% fewer than in 2019. After a difficult start to the year because of the Omicron variant, traffic rebounded sharply once sanitary restrictions were partially lifted in mid-February. The appetite for travel was significant in the ski season, the Easter holidays and over the summer.

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