Geneva Intl. Airport Spotting Guide

Geneva International Airport (GVA/LSGG) is located 4km north west of the city centre and it’s the second biggest airport in Switzerland in terms of traffic and size after Zürich Airport. More than 40% of air traffic in Geneva airport is linked to the activities of the airline easyJet Switzerland. GVA has two passengers terminals T1 and T2. T1 is using every time but the T2 is mostly used during the winter charter season. The passenger traffic is growing steadily since 2002. More than 16 million passengers flew at Geneva in 2016. To get to the city centre, the train is the fastest alternative. On average, 5 trains run every hour from the airport station to Cornavin (Geneva city). It takes you only 7 minutes.Why visiting Geneva ?

The strength of Geneva Airport is without a doubt the business and governments jets traffic. Geneva is a well-known city for lots of political meetings, international organisation, human rights, business, banks and peaceful place. So you can’t be disappointed about business jets traffic as it runs up every time. Government jets are more tricky as we know only at the last minute when they are coming. The Middle East are the most regular visitors with all type.

Geneva doesn’t have a real interesting civilian traffics, it’s less than some major airport and some usual aircraft type that you see everywhere in Europe. Even for the international flights, nothing is special as only Air Canada 333, Air China 332, Emirates 2x 77W, Etihad 333, Qatar 788/359, Swiss 333 and United 763 & 764 are flying with those usual types.

Written by Jeremy Denton & Omar Alex Saffe / Based at GVA (last update September 2017)

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Airport Information Runways 05/23
3.900 m (12.795 ft)
 Concrete
Terminals Terminal 1 Terminal 2
Intercontinental, European, low-coast airlines Winter charter terminal
ATC Frequencies
Tower : 118.700

Departure : 119.520

Arrival : 136.250

Spotting Information Ladder Necessary for some spots but not for the majority. Check where it’s mentioned.
Car Required for some spots but 90% can be done by bus TPG (Transport Publics Genevois) from the station called “Aéroport” (‘Airport’). Use the lines 23 / 28 / 57 / Y
Restrooms Only at the terminal.
Drinks/Food At the airport there is a supermarket called “Migros” where you can buy drinks and food located to the train station, about 7 minutes walk from the baggage claim. There is also a Petrol Station close to the spot located on rwy05 and a supermarket called “Lidl” to the spot located on rwy23
Hotels There are 3 good hotels around Geneva Airport :
– Holiday Inn is close to rwy05 (10 minutes by walk).
– Nash Airport Hotel or Ibis Genève Aéroport are about 3 minutes by bus to the airport then you need to take another bus to the spotting locations
Season I suggest April – September, chance of bad weather in winter is pretty high
+++ CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION +++
Be informed that a major construction is taking place at the spot nb5 “Arena” to build the new international terminal to improve the capacity and to renew Geneva Airport infrastructure. Iit’s still possible to get shots but sometimes could be difficult due to park and taxiing aircraft, fences and trucks. The ongoing works of the new International Terminal are scheduled to be completed around 2020. So expect that this spot will soon be gone.
Runway Usage 05/23
Used in all directions.
Nothing special about runways at GVA.

Spot #1 – Landing 23 morning
WHERE By bus: Take the bus from the airport. Get onto bus 28 (direction Jardin-Botannique) or Y (direction Ferney-Voltaire). It will take you 7 minutes by bus and stop at Tunnel Routier. Then about 20-30 minutes walk. Pass the P48 (Business Jets static) then follow the road until you’ll see the ILS. Take on the right there is a road called “Ch. des Clys”.
By car: From the airport, follow the direction “Lausanne”, you will arrive on the highway and take the exit “Gd-Saconnex”. Once out, take the roundabout and follow the direction “France”, you will pass over the highway. Then first on your right, pass the P48 (Business Jets static), follow the road until you’ll see the ILS take on the right there is a road called “Ch. des Clys”.
WHAT Only landings on rwy23 in the morning.
TIME In Summer from 06:30 to 14:00. In Winter from 08:30 to 14:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 75mm A342 / 110mm A320 / 145mm Casa 295 / 270mm Hawker


http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_002.png Spot #2 – P48 (Business Jets long-term parking)
WHERE By bus: Take the bus from the airport. Get on bus 28 (direction Jardin-Botannique) or Y (direction Ferney-Voltaire). It will take you 7 minutes and stop at Tunnel Routier. Then about 5 minutes by walk. From the stop Tunnel Routier you will see the tails of aircraft.
By car: From the airport, follow the direction “Lausanne”, you will arrive on the highway and get out at the exit “Gd-Saconnex”. Once out, take the roundabout and follow the direction “France”, you will pass over the highway. First way on your right and you will see the P48.
WHAT Many business jets can be taken trough the fences, like GLEX, Cessna, Bombardier, Dassault, Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Douglas DC-3 (HB-IRJ)…
TIME In summer, the best is the morning from 08:00 to 12:00 but you can also come at 15:00 depend by the position of the aircraft. In winter from 09:00-12:00 and also at 14:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-200mm for any aircraft

http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_03.png  Spot #3 – Palexpo Stairs
WHERE By bus: Take the bus from the airport. Get on bus 28 (direction Jardin-Botannique) or Y (direction Ferney-Voltaire). It will take you 3 minutes and stop at ‘Fret’. Than about 5-7 minutes by walk. Cross two parkings then you will see 6 huge stairs and take the last one (the one which is the fairest from you).
By car: From the airport, follow the direction “Lausanne”, you will arrive on the highway and get out at the exit “Gd-Saconnex”. Once out, take the roundabout and follow the direction “France”, you will pass over the highway. Follow the direction “Fret” and the road beside the airport fence. Then take on your right where the sign ‘Fret’ is situated. Park your car in the parking on your first right. It cost you nothing for about 1 hour then it’s 1 CHF per hour.
WHAT Arrivals & Departures both runways plus taxiing aircraft. Pictures could be tricky as you are shooting throw a howl approx 12 centimetres.
TIME In Summer from 06:30 to 14:00. In Winter from 08:30 to 14:00.
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH A321&B738 = 210mm / E195 = 240mm / A318 = 290mm / F2000 = 400mm


Spot #4 – Fret
WHERE By bus: Take the bus from the airport. Get on bus 28 (direction Jardin-Botannique) or Y (direction Ferney-Voltaire). It will take you 3 minutes and stop at ‘Fret’. Than about 5-7 minutes by walk. Cross every parking, you will see business jets.
By car: From the airport, follow the direction “Lausanne”, you will arrive on the highway and get out at the exit “Gd-Saconnex”. Once out, take the roundabout and follow the direction “France”, you will pass over the highway. Follow the direction “Fret” and the road beside the airport fence. Then take on your right where the sign ‘Fret’ is situated. Park your car where you can but don’t stay to long, it’s not allowed.
WHAT From this spot, you can get arrivals/departures both runways plus taxiing aircraft on both runways and aircraft which are on a remote place (parked in front of you).
TIME In Summer from 06:30 to 14:00 and in Winter from 08:30 to 14:00.
MISC. There is nothing near this spot. A ladder is recommended to avoid shooting throw the fence particularly if you have a big lens and to avoid as well the aircraft containers.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-300mm


Spot #5 – Arena
WHERE Walk from the terminal pass throw the train station then along the airport fences (blue walk path mentioned on the map).
WHAT Departures and arrivals both runways + taxiing aircraft.
TIME In Summer from 06:30 to 14:00. In Winter from 08:30 to 14:00.
MISC. You can go to the Migros which is at the train station to get foods and drinks. It’s a 7 minutes by walk. This spot is still good to get departures and arrivals traffic on the runway. The fences and some aircraft park are a bit of a problem sometimes.
FOCAL LENGTH 18mm to 300mm
Spot #6 – Restaurant “Le Chef”
WHERE From the Terminal 1, follow the signs Restaurant “Le Chef”. You will have to go to the departure floor, take an elevator on which is located between of the security check and the toilets. Take the lift to the top (Le Chef). The restaurant is before the security check, so do not go throw the security.
WHAT You can have pictures trough the windows from the bar or a table of the restaurant close to the windows. Taxiing aircraft, take-off and landings.
TIME In Summer from 06:30 to 14:00. In Winter from 08:30 to 14:00 or night shots.
MISC. This is an expensive restaurant, you can have a drink at the bar take pictures or sit at a table have a lunch and taking pictures. Be careful about reflex which is quiet a problem.
FOCAL LENGTH  18-300mm


Spot #7 – Jet Aviation
WHERE By bus: Take any of the following buses: 23 – 57 – 28 (direction Parfumerie) – Y (direction Val Thoiry) at the airport and stop at Blandonnet. It’s about 4 minutes. Then go on the right, cross the road, take the stairs and go strait you will see business jets parked in front of you.
By car: From the airport, take the highway direction France and exit at Meyrin. Follow the road Route de Meyrin. Then turn on the right when it’s write TAG Aviation go straight, pass in front of TAG, Privatair and Jet offices. You’ll see a parking on the right of the road. Here you can stay the morning without problem
WHAT At the spot you can take pictures of only business jets park.
TIME From 09:00 to 14:00.
MISC. You have a supermarket called “COOP” opposite of the Spot. You need to cross the bridge and follow the way to coop.
FOCAL LENGTH 18mm if an aircraft are close to the fence and a 200mm if it’s fare.


Spot #8 – The Bridge
WHERE By bus: Take any of the following buses: 23 – 57 – 28 (direction Parfumerie) – Y (direction Val Thoiry) at the airport and stop at Blandonnet. It’s about 4 minutes. Then go on the right, cross the road, take the stairs and go straight you will see a bridge on your left.
By car: From the airport, take the highway direction France and exit at Meyrin. Follow the road Route de Meyrin. Then turn on the right when you see TAG Aviation, go straight and pass in front of TAG, Privatair and Jet offices. You’ll see a parking on the right of the road. Here you can stay the morning without problem.
WHAT Only arrivals with Jura Mountains are possible from the spot. This is a good spot in Summer from 06:30 to 11:30 or before, because there is a lot of heat distortion. In Winter it’s perfect except if the weather is hot.
TIME In Summer from 06:30 to 14:00. In Winter from 08:30 to 14:00.
MISC. You have a supermarket called “COOP”, from the bridge follow the way.
FOCAL LENGTH 165mm A345 / 170mm A333 / 330mm B738 / 340mm A319


Spot #9 – TAG Aviation
WHERE By bus: Take any of the following buses: 23 – 57 – 28 (direction Parfumerie) – Y (direction Val Thoiry) at the airport and stop at Blandonnet. It’s about 4 minutes. Then go on the right, cross the road, take the stairs and go straight, pass TAG, JET and Privatair offices. You will see a parking on the right.
By car: From the airport, take the highway direction France and exit at Meyrin. Follow the road Route de Meyrin. Then turn on the right when it’s write TAG Aviation (the spot is on your left but you need to park your car further), go straight pass in front TAG, Privatair and Jet offices. You’ll see a parking on the right of the road. Here you can stay the morning without problem.
WHAT At this point, you can have pictures of arrivals and departures on rwy05 trough the fences.
TIME In Summer, arrival from 06:30 to 14:00 and departures from 09:00-15:00. In Winter arrivals from 08:30 to 14:00 and departures from 10:00-14:00.
MISC. You have a supermarket called “COOP” opposite of the spot. Cross the bridge and follow the way.
FOCAL LENGTH Approach: 95mm B763 / 115mm B752 / 180mm Citation XTaxiway: 55mm B763 / 90mm B733 / 116mm A319


Spot #10 – Runway05 Lights and line-up
WHERE From spot 10, get out of the parking and take the way on your right for about 200m, then you will have a nice view of the airport and line-up aircraft.
WHAT You can have great shot of line-up, departures, an overview of the airport and close-up arrivals.
TIME In Summer and Winter, when the sun is on the axis of the planes 14:00 to 17:00
MISC. There is a petrol station called “Total” at 5 minutes by walk direction north from the spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 55mm B744 / 120mm A319 / 130mm RJ85 / 140mm G550


Spot #11 – Restaurant “Le Garoco”
WHERE From spot 11, continue to walk for about 7 minutes on the north where the petrol station “Tamoil” is. Than on the right of the petrol station, you will see the Nissan garage. You need to go behind the building where there is a small rise way which allows you to access by foot to the roof and then you will see the terrace of the restaurant. WE RECENTLY HAD SOME ISSUES WITH THE HEAD OF THE NISSAN GARAGE AS IT IS A “PRIVATE PARKING AREA” WE ARE NOT WELCOMED. YOU MIGHT HAVE SOME ISSUES TO WITH HIM BUT YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STAY ON THE TERRACE OF THE RESTAURANT AND DO THE WAY TRIP TO THE PARKING WHEN AIRCRAFT ARE COMING. PLEASE DO NOT PARK YOUR CAR ON THE ROOF, IT IS NOW PROHIBITED.
WHAT Good spot for landings runway 05.
TIME In Summer from 17:00 to 20:45. In Winter not good, too much in the axe.
MISC. There is the petrol station 3 minutes by walk from the spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 80mm B744 / 105mm A310 / 130mm A320 / 170mm G650


Spot #12 – Arrivals and departures rwy05
WHERE From spot 12, cross the road called “Av. De Mategnin”, continue strait direction north for about 5minutes then turn on the small way on the right. Cross thefields, stay next to the airport fence and stay next to the tries with your ladder.
WHAT Good location for departures on rwy05 and arrivals can be taken but hardly.
TIME In Summer, from 17:00 to 20:45. In Winter from 14:00 to 17:00.
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 100mm-300mm
Spot #13 – L’Aerobistro
WHERE Only by car, from spot 12, exit the Nissan garage on the left follow the road direction north. Before the second roundabouts turn on the right than again, directly on the right. Follow the road for about 2minutes and just in front of you, you will see the Aero-Bistro with the entrance.
WHAT Pictures can be taken through the fence, arrivals and departures on rwy05 are good. A ladder will help you to avoid to shot throw the fences and it will be much easier to take pictures as well.
TIME In Summer from 17:00 to 20:45. In Winter not good.
MISC. You can have drinks and foods at the bistro.
FOCAL LENGTH  200mm-300mm


Spot #14 – General Aviation
WHERE From the bistro, walk for about 7minutes. Go straight from the bistro then take the road on the right, straight and left you will be in front of a fence where you can take pictures of Business Jets.
WHAT Only static business jets are possible.
TIME In Summer, from 14:00 to 17:00.
MISC. There is a bistro next to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 18mm to 100mm


 http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_15.png Spot #15 – Rotation take-off 23 and 05
WHERE By car : Coming from the Ferney border, turn right on the 2nd runabout, direction “Meyrin”. Follow the road for about 1500m, when you see the Leclerc supermarket, just before the runabout there’s a road on your left heading to the forest. That’s what you’re looking for. Coming from Meyrin, just follow the road to Ferney and after the runabout by the Leclerc supermarket, the road leading to the spot is on your right. Please note that you need to park your car at the beginning of that road and walk for about 10/15min to the airport fence. When reaching the forest, take the RIGHT road.
WHAT Arrivals and departures can be taken for both runways. Ladder is necessary.
TIME From 17:00 to 20:45.
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 50mm – 200mm

http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_16.png Spot #16 – Cow field
WHERE By car : After the customs, continue strait until the roundabout, come back and then take immediately on the right before the customs. Finally go strait until you see the fence of the airport.
By bus : Stop at “Tunnel Routier”, cross the customs go strait and take the grass on the left side. Continue strait until the fence of the airport.
WHAT Arrivals and take-off can be taken on rwy05. Ladder is necessary. One faveur, when cow are present on the field, please don’t go. The farmer allows us to take pictures on his field but he doesn’t want to see us when his cow are on the field.
TIME From 17:00 to 20:45.
MISC. There is nothing close to this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 50mm – 200mm


http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_17.png Spot #17 – l’Oasis
WHERE From spot 4, by bus: Walk to the stop Tunnel Routier, the one who is after the house next to the P48, after stop at Douane and walk for about 20 minutes. Pass the customs then take the first road on the right called “Chemin de Colovrex” go straight until you see Lidl supermarkert. Pass the parking and follow the way.

By car: Follow the direction Ferney on the left from the crossroads, you will pass under the tunnel, pass the customs than take the first road on your right “chemin de Colovrex”. Go straight until you see Lidl supermarket, you can park your car inside.

WHAT Good location for landings and departures on rwy23.
TIME In Summer, from 17:00 to 20:45. In Winter from 14:00 to 17:00.
MISC. There is a supermarket called “Lidl” where you can buy drinks and food
FOCAL LENGTH 70mm B772 / 90mm B762 / 116mm B738 / 240mm Learjet

http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_18.png Spot #18 – Crash Gate
WHERE From spot 12, continue to walk along the fences direction est until you reached the crash gate. Other wise, take the car, exit the Nissan garage on the left follow the road direction north. Before the second roundabouts turn on the right than again, directly on the right. Follow the road and turn on the third way on your right. Drive at the end and park your car next to the way. Do not block the road !
WHAT Tricky location for landings and departures on rwy05 as you shot throw the fences and a big lense might be a problem but a nice background could be seen on the pictures. A LADDER IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !
TIME In Summer, from 1700 to sunset 2045. In Winter from 1400 to 1700 approximately.
MISC. Nothing near by the spot. So bring what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 210mm = Falcon 900 / 78mm = Airbus 343


http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_19.png Spot #19 – Landings 23 afternoon
WHERE By car: From spot 1, continue the road you’ll pass under the ILS, then strait and take the second road on your right called “Chemin de la Radio”. Park your car next to the dirty ground not to block the road.
WHAT Only landings on rwy23 in the afternoon.
TIME In Summer, from 17:00 to 20:45. In Winter from 14:00 to 17:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 140mm A359 / 210mm A320 / 240mm Dhas8-400


http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_20.png Spot #20 – Parking P51 – Departures Rwy 23 morning
WHERE From the airport, drive or walk by following the signs Parking P51 or car rental it is on the last floor. From highway, follow Geneva Airport then Rental Car, Parking P51 and drive until you reach the roof.
WHAT Only departures on rwy23 in the morning. Recommended for big aircraft.
TIME In Summer from 06:30 to 14:00. In Winter from 08:30 to 14:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.

Parking rates:

10minutes = FREE

30minutes = CHF 1.-

1 hour = CHF 2.-

2 hours = CHF 5.-

4 hours = CHF 13.-

1 day CHF 29.-

FOCAL LENGTH 340mm CS300/A320 / 170mm B773


https://ebace.aero/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/full_color_logo.png EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition) / 22 – 24 May 2017
WHERE There are some shuttle from Palexpo Hall 7 or the Airport which will bring you at the main entrance of EBACE.
WHAT EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition) is an every year event at Geneva Airport. More than 30 aircraft at the display can be seen from a BBJ to a CJ, smallest aircraft and helicopters too. You can buy tickets directly on the site of EBACE 2015 but it’s quite expensive.

Mostly of the business jets are always coming the Saturday and Sunday before the event start. As this year we expect the arrivals between the the 21 and 22 of May.

TIME Static display, from 10:00 to 18:00 other wise for the stands are open from 08:00 until 20:00.
MISC. There is some snacks and bar inside Palexpo.
FOCAL LENGTH 18 – 200mm

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9 thoughts on “Geneva Intl. Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Motkes.

    Hi,
    I am from abroad, planning to visit soon around Geneva.
    I would appreciate you very much if you could please post the coordinates (in Google maps) for the Spot #13 – L’Aerobistro and also for Spot #15 – Rotation take-off 23 and 05.
    Many thanks for your great website, and also thanks in advance for your help.

    Cheers,
    Motkes.

    1. JulianJulian

      Hi Motkes,

      its pretty easy to find the coordinates on google earth. Just make a right click with your mouse on the area you want to know the coordinates and select “What´s here”.
      They will be shown too you in a pop up.

      -Julian

      1. Motkes.

        Thanks Mate, but I have a little problem:
        I do not know where the exact locations of the two places as above, so I asked for the coordinates.
        According to the description in the above guide I could not find the exact locations of those two places.
        I would be grateful if you could help me.

    1. JeremyJeremy Post author

      Dear Lorenzo,

      The spot 4 is a free access. You can easily reach this spot without any problem.

      Sorry for my late answer, quite busy at the army.

      Regards
      Jeremy

      1. HUITRE

        I tried the spot #4 this afternoon and i confirm the spot is now restricted. Fences everywhere, no access to the hill anymore. You can stay just in front of the closed gate but you only can park a 2 wheeler.

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