Sion

 

Sion Airport Guide

Sion airport is a small regional airport in the Rhone Valley, Switzerland. Located 2.5km south-west of Sion city it provides quick and easy access to many Swiss ski resorts. Sion bills itself as ‘the airport at the heart of the Alps’ yet it is still relatively unknown to many European skiers and snowboarders. Due to Sion airport’s low level of commercial flights it is often overlooked but this may be changing slowly.

Opened in 1935, the airport at Sion was previously used by the Swiss Air Force. Serving as one of four jetfighter bases has meant commercial flights in and out of Sion airport have been limited. The military is now moving out though and the facilities will be freed up for more tourist airlines. Additionally, the military will be investing close to €10 million to renovate the runway and control tower.

Currently international flights are limited, with most travellers opting for the larger airports of Geneva to the west and Bern to the north. Swiss International Airlines operates a regular route from London while Air Glaciers and Helvetic Airlines run flights from Zurich, Mallorca & Porto. Much like Chambery in France, Sion airport is designated a Category C airport with a steep descent into a mountainous valley that requires pilots to undertake special training. There are a few shops in the terminal plus a restaurant, but no duty-free sales.

Due to Sion airport’s small size it is possible to pass through customs and passport control much quicker than its larger neighbours. There are less travellers making for a more relaxed experience and less aircraft meaning that flight delays are unusual. Many private jets take advantage of the executive hangars and VIP handling on offer at Sion too. The airport’s location is much closer to Switzerland’s best ski resorts as well. Ski transfers are quicker and cheaper from here than many other airports with Verbier just 45 minutes away and Zermatt a little over an hour’s drive.

 

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