Press kit: noise footprint and sustainability report for 2019


Geneva Airport presents its 2019 noise footprint as well as its 4th Sustainability report.

A reduction in Genève Aéroport's noise footprint for 2019

The air traffic noise footprint for Genève Aéroport has been published today. Between 2018 and 2019, i.e. before the pandemic, the surface area of sites exposed to noise decreased by 3,4 km2, and the number of residents exposed to noise fell by 11,4%. Today, Genève Aéroport is publishing its 4th Sustainability report, available for the first time in digital form. Covering the 2018-2019 period, the report sets out the airport's economic, social and environmental commitment, as well as its results, objectives and flagship projects.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has a profound impact on air traffic, the results preceding this pandemic are significant, as they derive from a long-term strategy. Genève Aéroport has implemented a proactive, innovative environmental policy for many years, in accordance with the objectives set by the cantonal and federal authorities. To this end, it is increasing its initiatives and large-scale projects. Conscious of its urban surroundings, the airport is working proactively to limit its noise footprint./p>

The noise footprint of air traffic is represented by noise curves on a map. Their surface area changes depending on the magnitude of the noise impact of air traffic for the past year at different times of the day. For the second year in a row, the range of these curves has reduced. The surface area of areas exposed to noise (enveloping surface area at immission limits) fell from 33,3 km2 in 2018 to 29,9 km2 in 2019 (a decrease of 3,4 km2). The number of residents (actual population) exposed to noise above the legal limits has also decreased, from 22’726 in 2018 to 20’135 in 2019 (a decrease of 11,4%).

Fewer movements after 22:00

This improvement is linked in large part to an overall decrease in aircraft movements (-0,6% in 2019), especially after 22:00. The noise emitted by planes beyond this sensitive time for residents greatly increases the airport’s noise footprint. In collaboration with Skyguide air traffic control and the airlines, the airport has put in place a set of effective measures to reduce the number of late take-offs, such as having reserve planes and prioritising delayed flights. In October 2019, a common statement aimed at reducing unplanned take-offs after 22:00 was also signed between Genève Aéroport, easyJet and SWISS.

The results are clear: between 2018 and 2019, nocturnal movements after 22:00 decreased by 5,2%, with in particular a reduction in take-offs by 15,5%.

What’s more, in 2019, airlines continued to gradually upgrade their fleets with new generation aircraft, which are quieter. Because of this, aircraft movements (both scheduled and charter, passenger only) classified as category 5, or the least noisy, rose from 13,7% in 2018 to 18,7% in 2019.

These encouraging results allow Genève Aéroport to comply with the two-stage objectives set by the sectoral aviation infrastructure plan (SAIP), adopted in 2018 by the Federal Council: its noise footprint respects the ceiling curve imposed from 2019. In addition, the airport is making progress towards the target curve planned for 2030, which should allow an ambitious reduction in the noise footprint of air traffic in Geneva, in accordance with the Objectives Agreement of 22 May 2019 with the State of Geneva.

Sustainable Development Report 2019: improving indicators

Today, Genève Aéroport publishes its 4th Sustainability report, available for the first time in digital form. This document shows the airport’s performance in environmental issues, as well as economic and social areas. The airport’s indicators show progress in almost all areas.

In 2019, Genève Aéroport's share of renewable energy across all energies combined (heating, cooling, electricity and vehicle fuels) was 57%, compared to 54% in 2017. To go further, the airport has committed to supplying all of its infrastructure with 100% renewable energy by 2025. To achieve this, major projects have been implemented: for example, the installation of autonomous heat pumps on the apron in June 2019. These energy efficient pumps are used to cool and heat planes before take-off. The airport also aims to increase its current surface area of solar panels by almost five times. The target is 55’000 m2 by 2030 (compared to 13’500 m2 in 2019) and to produce 7,8 GWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 2’500 Geneva households.

With this in mind, in 2019 Genève Aéroport signed an agreement with GeniLac, the ecological thermal network of the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG). From 2023, the airport will increasingly be able to heat and cool its buildings with water from the lake, reducing CO2 emissions by 5’300 tonnes per year.


A responsible economic player

The concept of sustainability relates to more than the environment: Genève Aéroport is committed to improving the quality of its service and visitor experience, particularly by encouraging the use of public transport. In 2019, 50,5% of passengers opted for sustainable modes of transport to get to the airport, compared to 45% in 2017.

Genève Aéroport contributes to the stability of the region's socio-economic fabric by maintaining a quality service and creating many jobs both directly and indirectly.

The airport is working to improve integration into the world of work. Of the 169 positions advertised in 2019, 58 received introductory training and 31 job seekers were hired. The airport also creates working conditions, which are respectful of all, particularly by encouraging diversity within teams. In 2019, the airport employed 29,3% women overall, with 20,8% managerial positions occupied by women. In the same year, the Swiss Charter for Diversity in the Workplace was signed.
The health of employees and safety of operations are essential to the proper functioning of the airport. Between 2017 and 2019, the rate of occupational accidents has fallen from 43 to 35 per 1,000 FTE.

Since 2017, actions have been considered to develop the company's purchasing department. Genève Aéroport has put in place a new tendering process, strengthened legal directives relating to public tenders, and updated its directive on the prevention and management of conflicts of interest. Employees now have a secure IT platform enabling them to report suspicions of fraud or inappropriate behaviour such as sexual harassment. This tool, operational since early 2020, is managed by an independent body, and guarantees whistleblowers confidentiality.

During the 2019 financial year, Genève Aéroport recorded 17,9 million passengers transported by 57 airlines serving 149 destinations. In 2019, airport activity generated a net profit of 84,1 million Swiss francs, half of which was paid to the State of Geneva. Genève Aéroport has also led an active sponsoring policy by supporting regional projects and events with up to 900’000 Swiss francs in 2019.