Sion airport in the Rhone valley between two ranges of the Alps has just won top-level safety status putting it on the same level as major international hubs.
It was the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that took the decision, bringing Sion airport up to the level of Zurich, Geneva, Bern and St Gallen’s Altenrhein.
“This is important for us, as it will make it easier to attract new traffic to Sion,” airport deputy director Patricia Fellay said.
All five airports now hold an ICAO safety seal, which is given for top-class snow-clearing, plane defrosting, fire control and refuelling capacities.
Sion airport, which can take planes carrying up to 120 passengers, is a gateway to major alpine centres like Zermatt, Crans-Montana, Saas-Fee and Verbier.
It currently handles just under 30,000 passengers a year.
Planes range from medium-range business jets to small aircraft to helicopters and single-seater private planes.
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