An aerial view of Geneva Airport.
The entrance to Geneva Airport.
A Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A330-200.
An aircraft preparing for departure.

Geneva International Airport – or Cointrin Airport – lies on the border of Switzerland and France.

It was established in 1920. A passenger terminal was constructed in 1940 followed by a concrete-surfaced runway in 1949. During the 1970s the terminal underwent expansion to accommodate more passengers. A charter terminal was opened in 1998.

The airport acts as a hub for Baboo, EasyJet Switzerland and Hello. Other airlines operating at the airport include Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Air Europa, Austrian Airlines, Continental Airlines and Kuwait Airways.

“Geneva International Airport lies on the border of Switzerland and France.”

The airport handled 11.88 million passengers in 2010.

Geneva International Airport masterplan

Growing passenger traffic at the airport prompted its expansion. The masterplan for 2007-15 was formulated in January 2007.

Phase I of the plan began in 2007 and was completed in 2009. The renovation of the arrival, check-in and departure areas started in 2007 and was completed in November 2010. A restaurant, which seats 200 people, was opened in March 2009.

The east wing of the airport will be constructed as part of the second phase and will optimise aircraft parking and runway capacity. Construction work is expected to start in 2012.


The airport has a passenger terminal and a charter terminal. The passenger terminal handles domestic and international operations of the French territory and Switzerland. It has 110 check-in desks and 17 air bridges for domestic and international airlines. In August 2010, Logan Teleflex was awarded a $123,386 contract to supply the terminal with a baggage-handling system.

The ground floor of the terminal features the check-in facility, while the departure area is located on the first floor. The arrival area is in the basement. Duty free outlets are situated on the ground floor and the first floor near departures. Currency exchanges are located in departures and arrivals. Information desks are on the arrivals level and in the transit area of the Swiss sector. The French sector features independent information desks.

Most of the shops are found on the first floor near departures, while eateries are on the second floor.

Facilities such as private lounges, banks and ATMs are found throughout the passenger terminal. A business centre at the terminal provides translation and secretarial services. The airport also has facilities for disabled passengers.

On 9 February 2011, a mobile terminal was opened at the airport. The terminal can be easily assembled and disassembled and is compliant with safety regulations. It consists of a metal frame with cloth walls containing compressed gas. The heated terminal is equipped with all the necessary connections to function as an extension to the main building.

The terminal can be set up anywhere at the airport and will help ease the pressure on the available reception space. It will also help the airport in dealing with contingencies. The mobile terminal will be tested till the end of the winter season.


The airport has a single runway designated 05/23 and – at 3,900m long – is the longest runway in Switzerland. There is also an 823m-long grass runway meant for light aircraft.


“Growing passenger traffic at the airport prompted its expansion.”

The airport offers 4,500 spaces for short and long-term parking. There are two short-term car parks – P2 and P3. P2 is a small car park located opposite the main terminal and is dedicated for arrivals. P3, which has 75 spaces, is also situated opposite the main terminal and is dedicated for departures.

There are three long-term car parks – P1, P51 and P20. P1 is an underground garage situated close to the terminal building. P51 and P20 are situated away from the terminal and have 230 spaces.

Ground transport

Taxi, shuttle and limousine services operate to and from the airport, which is also well served by public transport. Local buses run from stops outside arrivals and departures and there is a railway station about 300m from the passenger terminal.