Geneva Airport Celebrates its Centenary
A hundred years ago, to the day, the Cantonal Parliament declared "public interest" in a 137-hectare airfield. On 11 October 1919, the parliament voted a law of the Republic and Canton of Geneva and a loan of 675’000 CHF for the purchase of land and its development. An avant-garde political act that gave birth to Genève Aéroport, one of the oldest airport platforms in the Old Continent.
In the same year, the League of Nations set up its headquarters in Geneva. Consequently, the airfield had to be located near the Palace of Nations. In July 1919, Louis Willemin, a politician from Geneva, confidently stated that « all persons on important missions will no longer use the railway, the waterway or the seaside route to their posts; they will go there by air ». A message that is still relevant 100 years later, at a time when the airport is handling more than 4’600 formal receptions.
In 1919, therefore, the municipalities of Collex, Bellevue, Genthod and Versoix met the essential conditions for the creation of an airport: the most favourable orientation to the winds blowing in Geneva, a site accessible by land at cantonal and municipal levels, located just seven kilometres from the city. The Cantonal Parliament noted in particular « the prospect of becoming a landing site for the national and international aviation service ».
1920 marked the beginning of airport operations. It is therefore natural that the centenary of Genève Aéroport will be celebrated in 2020. Events, surprises and various activities will punctuate this year, starting in February. With 11’000 employees on the platform and financial autonomy, Genève Aéroport is a major player in the economy, serving its region. It is committed on a daily basis to perform its mission as a national airport, in a sustainable way. International Geneva has been closely linked to its development through the bold choice of visionary personalities.