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An opening on the world

Intense protocol activity

The year 2023 was an extremely busy year for the activities of the Protocol Service. The conferences traditionally held in February, May and June regained 82% of pre-Covid attendance. The month of December was particularly busy with two high-level events: the 75th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights was held from 10 to 12 December and the Global Forum of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) followed suit from 12 to 15 December. These two events resulted in nearly 350 formal receptions over a period of five days. 

The celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Council for the Declaration of Human Rights saw the arrival of seventeen heads of state and government, 26 foreign ministers who required 40 tarmac convoys. Eight heads of state and government and around thirty foreign ministers, i.e. 150 delegations over three days, passed through Genève Aéroport to go to the UNHCR Global Forum which followed.

In total, the protocol service carried out, in 2023, 4,083 protocol receptions (compared to 3,254 in 2022), including 81 receptions of heads of state and 58 prime ministers as well as 584 receptions of members of royal families.

As a reminder, passage through the Protocol is reserved for heads of state, prime ministers, ministers in office, heads of international organisations, members of royal families and other official dignitaries.

75 years of SSLIA

For the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (SSLIA) of Genève Aéroport, which ensures an operational response on the airport site 24 hours a day throughout the year, the year 2023 was marked by the celebrations of its 75th anniversary. The official evening held on 10 May, in the presence of the Geneva authorities and the godmother of the SSLIA, Nana Mouskouri, opened the festivities to which 430 guests attended. 

An open house weekend took place on May 13 and 14. Some 1,400 enthusiasts and curious people visited the three sites: the Hispano field, the P48 and the fire and rescue station. They were able to put themselves in the shoes of a firefighter specialising in aviation, by putting out an engine fire ; a central operator by managing an alarm ; or a paramedic while performing first aid procedures. In addition, visitors were able to admire all the rescue equipment and were even able to climb into a Swiss army helicopter.

The SSLIA organised other events: on 4 December, Sainte-Barbe celebrated 40 retirees from the service who came to eat raclette with their active peers, while, on 13 December, a Climbing Day took place to the delight of the SSLIA families.

Multiple interventions

At the operational level, in total, the SSLIA Engagement Centre (CeSSLIA) handled 7,155 events in 2023 and 39,923 telephone calls. The Ambulance section intervened 2,317 times and carried out 85% of its extramural operations and 15 % of them on the airport platform. The Fire sections intervened 3,325 times.

The SSLIA engaged with the Fire Rescue Service (SIS) on several occasions: on 30 June, during a major fire in the Serbeco recycling centre in Satigny ; on 6 July, during a cellar fire on Avenue du Lignon ; on 19 August, during the fire which ravaged the Le Plaza cinema ; or on 26 December when a fire destroyed a garage in the industrial zone in Vernier.

In terms of aircraft interventions, 2023 saw a particularly notable event : on 13 December, a Beechjet went off the runway and got stuck. The SSLIA carried out an intervention lasting almost four hours. The runway had to be closed.

It should also be noted that the first female firefighter fully integrated the SSLIA after eighteen months of training and was awarded the Federal Professional Firefighter Certificate.

The SSLIA also adapts to new risks. In this context, it acquired a drilling spike for the batteries of alternative propulsion vehicles. It is a tool that allows them to intervene effectively in the event of a battery fire under the vehicle.


New momentum for sponsorship

After two years of shutdown due to Covid, sponsorship activity, led by the Marketing & Business Development Department, resumed in 2023. A little less than 300,000 CHF were spent on sponsorship and patronage activities. With a progressive budget in perspective, the team plans to return to the previous pre-pandemic level – i.e. 800,000 CHF – by 2025.

If the average budget per action carried out was nearly 5,500 CHF in 2023, there are seven actions of more than 10,000 CHF and 44 actions which were between 500 and 5,000 CHF, focused primarily on local residents (21 actions) and the canton of Geneva (24 actions). 

The sponsorship committee, made up of six people, reoriented its strategy and laid the foundations for a new partnership policy. Instead of a multitude of small supports, it is now forming stronger partnerships. The target is redefined : the priority areas will be orientated towards more inclusive local economic, cultural and sporting activities. In this regard, Genève Aéroport is commited to supporting the Genève Volley women’s team, the women’s Tour de Romandie which started on 6 September from Vernier (GE) and for the Swiss Open Geneva, a tournament of wheelchair tennis held in July 2023.

Opening to neighbouring municipalities

Genève Aéroport continues to strengthen local collaboration with the municipalities affected by the airport’s activity, as well as with local residents and environmental protection associations, to ensure better listening to their concerns and a transparent sharing of airport strategies.

In 2023, the CEO received visits, almost week after week, from delegations from more than twenty Geneva municipalities and from neighbouring France and delegations from political parties to present the actions and projects of the airport and visit the platform.

Visits and Panorama Terrace

The year 2023 saw a significant increase in the number of guided tours of the airport with a total of 1,500 people welcomed for an exclusive tour of the tarmac and parts accessible to the public. Schools from surrounding municipalities represented 49% of these day visitors. It should be noted that 2022 had recorded 650 visits, an already record figure.

The opening of the Panorama Terrace for its 3rd year allowed more than 20,000 people to come and discover the activities on the tarmac.

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