Geneva Airport has opened a new public spotting terrace, making it easier for plane spotters, and the general public, to capture anything from everyday commercial traffic to world leaders arriving for diplomatic events.
The spotting terrace offers visitors a commanding view of not only the airport tarmac but also the stunning Jura Mountain Chain, offering an amazing backdrop for viewers and photographers. To access the spotting terrace, visitors must first pass through a security screening point before entering an elevator, from the arrivals level of Terminal 1, where they’ll then be carried up to the fourth floor.
A modern looking bar is situated on site, offering snacks and refreshments for those planning to spend some time enjoying the action, however smoking is not permitted. For those interested in the history of the airport, a projection room has also been setup alongside the terrace; this room features a collection of informational and historical films about Geneva Airport.
Seating is available for those interested in a more relaxed experience, with a rooftop garden surrounding the terrace to break up the asphalt landscape between the viewer and the aircraft movement areas. For photographers, the railing around the terrace is of mid-height; this means that the views are unobstructed and hand-held devices can be steadied by leaning against the angled rails. Additionally binocular telescopes are positioned around key areas of the terrace, to allow everyone a chance to experience some close up action.
Timing and Access
Elevator at the Arrivals level of the main building (T1) 4th floor
Opening times vary based on tourist action, so if you’re thinking of visiting, it is important to take note of the opening hours:
High season (1st May – 31st October): Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00 (last entrance at 18:00)
Low season (1st November – 14th March): closed
Mid-season (15th March – 30th April): Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00 (last entrance at 16:00)
The panoramic terrace was scheduled to open to the public in September 2020, for Geneva Airport’s centenary celebrations, however COVID-19 brought those plans to halt. Despite this the long-awaited opening has resulted in a highly successful launch, with locals and passer-by’s taking a moment to enjoy the location.
Viewing platforms at Geneva Airport date back to 1925, however constant changes to the airport have eventually seen them fade away. It was 2017 when this changed, with Chief Executive Officer André Schneider aiming to rebuild the connection between the public and aviation.
“Isn’t it every child’s dream to be able to look at planes up close? I am delighted that Genevans will be able to enjoy a terrace once again after twenty years of absence.”
Chief Executive Officer André Schneider
So far this year, passenger figures at Geneva Airport are down 88.8 percent, compared to the same monthly period in 2019, according to airport statistics publications. Aircraft movements have also plummeted during the same period by 68.7 percent; however, with global vaccinations picking up, and air travel showing signs of recovery, it is hopeful such attractions will see an increased amount of attention.