Switzerland tightens airspace restrictions for pope visit

An area of about 10 nautical miles (approximately 18 kilometres) along the axis between Geneva International Airport and Bogis-Bossey will be off-limits to small aircraft during the papal visit. Keystone

The Swiss government has decided to impose airspace restrictions during the one-day visit of Pope Francis later this month.

This content was published on June 8, 2018

The Federal Council made the decision on Friday following a request from the cantonal authorities in Geneva.

The restriction concerns small aircraft – namely passenger aircraft and helicopters – in the Geneva region. It will be active from 9 am to 9 pm on June 21.

Commercial flights to and from Geneva International Airport are not affected.

The Swiss army is allocating a maximum of 200 military personnel to reinforce the air police service, in addition to setting up a logistics and health support service for the visit.

Pope Francis is expected to meet the Swiss president in Geneva and hold a mass at the airport.

The last papal visit to Switzerland was in 2004, when Pope John Paul II came to Bern.

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