Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport

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Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport
Lyon Airport Logo.svg
Lyon Satolas 7411v.jpg

45 ° 43 '35 "  N , 5 ° 5' 27"  E Coordinates: 45 ° 43 '35 "  N , 5 ° 5' 27"  E

Height above MSL 250 m (820  ft )
Transport links
Distance from the city center 20 km east of Lyon
Street A432 , RN6
train Lyon-Saint-Exupéry TGV
Local transport Rhônexpress
Basic data
opening April 12, 1975
operator Aéroports de Lyon
surface 680 ha
Terminals 3
Passengers 11,731,043 (2019)
Air freight 56,949 t (2019)
116,605 (2019)
17R / 35L 4000 m × 45 m asphalt
17L / 35R 2670 m × 45 m asphalt

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The Aéroport de Lyon-Saint-Exupéry (English: Saint-Exupéry International Airport , formerly Aéroport Satolas ) is located approx. 20 km east of Lyon in the area of ​​the municipality of Colombier-Saugnieu in France . The airport is named after the aviation pioneer and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .


The first studies for the construction began in 1965 in order to create a replacement for the previous Lyon-Bron airport . The French government officially gave the go-ahead for its implementation in February 1968. The choice of location for the new airport was based on three criteria:

  • The airport is easily accessible, especially from Lyon and major cities in the Rhône-Alpes region
  • Technical suitability of the site for an airport area (level, wind orientation, etc.)
  • Location in a poorly urbanized area.

This was found in an area northwest of Satolas-et-Bonce .

In 1969 the cost was estimated at 300 million francs . Half of the financing was provided by the state, a third was taken over by the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (fr) and a sixth of the costs were shared equally by the General Council of the Départments Rhône and the City of Lyon .

On April 12, 1975, the airport was opened as Aéroport Lyon-Satolas by the then President of the French Republic Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in the presence of Pierre Doueil (Prefect of the region) and Fernand Blanc (President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon). On April 20, 1975, the first 150 passengers from Paris landed with Air Inter in Lyon.

Right next to the airport, the Lyon Saint-Exupéry TGV station went into operation on July 3, 1994 . It is thus connected to the TGV network.

On June 29, 2000, the airport was renamed and christened in the name of the famous pilot and writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .

Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport received more than six million passengers in 2001, almost four times more than in 1975, and has established itself as a key factor in the regional economy.

Since summer 2010, the airport has  also been connected to the city of Lyon by the  Rhônexpress light rail  .

Setting the course for the future

Since 1989, the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the state and local authorities, has developed a major investment program to increase the capacity of Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport. In order to meet international standards, the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry TGV train station went into operation in July 1994 .

The creation of a second runway, the expansion of the terminals, the construction of a covered parking lot, the enlargement of the freight terminal are also achievements that enabled Lyon Airport to cope with the sharp increase in traffic.

Development of traffic

Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport
Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport, Terminal 1

More than 100 direct flights will be launched from Lyon Saint-Exupéry. The development of the airport has been shaped in particular by the important expansion of capacity, the increased frequency of use and, in part, by the location used by the airline Air France as a “hub”.


In the past 25 years, international air traffic on Lyon Saint-Exupéry has grown faster than domestic traffic. National traffic, which was 62% of total traffic in 1975, made up only 43.2% in 2001, while the part of international traffic increased from 32% to 55.8%.

See also

Web links

Commons : Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Statistics on the website of the Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire, p. 15. (PDF; 2.3 MB) May 2020, accessed on 19 May 2020 (French).