©2|Aérodrome d'Annemasse
Local Legends and HistoryAnnemasse Aerodrome
Local Legends and History

Annemasse Aerodrome

Unveil the secrets of Annemasse aerodrome, a surprising gateway to the Monts du Genevois region. Learn about the history and evolution of this site which for many years has been a venue for aviation enthusiasts, training and recreation.


in the Annemasse area

Did you know that Annemasse aerodrome was originally nothing more than a field? Indeed, its entire construction and development all took place in the previous century!

During the 1930s, the 35th aviation regiment of Bron identified the region’s sites capable of accommodating aircraft prior to the Second World War. During that same period, the government planned to develop aerodromes all over France. The aim was for each major city to be within 50 km of an aerodrome. Following this decision, François Roch, a former member of the 35th aviation regiment, created the Voirons Salève flying club on part of the Bois de Rosses land previously acquired by Annemasse.

On 6 October 1945, the flying club was modernised and became the Annemasse Aviation Club (CAA) thanks to François Durafour, the first Franco-Swiss civil aviator to have landed on Mont Blanc. With the Club’s creation, the installations were updated with the building of a landing strip and a hangar. In 1948, Marcel Bruchon took chairmanship but there were no aircraft because at the time there was no air traffic using the aerodrome.


takes off

In the 1950s, the aerodrome’s development took off. Jean Servoz, a farmer from Vétraz-Monthoux, played an active role in the construction of the aerodrome’s very first aircraft, the RA-14. Specialising in recreational flights, this Roger Adam model was unveiled on 14 July 1951 and named “Ville d’Annemasse” (city of Annemasse)
During his chairmanship, Marcel Bruchon was also deputy mayor. This enabled him to acquire a 53-hectare plot of land and to launch the construction of two new runways by State-employed civil engineers. Over time, the aerodrome set its sights higher and officially opened to public air traffic on 7 August 1955! In keeping with this development, Paul Maitre, who took over as chairman in 1969, quickly demonstrated his strong devotion to this structure, which was to become France’s leading flying club. This made way for the creation of the Grand Bois trading estate in Annemasse, which now houses a multitude of shops. Five years later, Jacques Abédécaroux succeeded Paul Maitre as the CAA’s chairman, a role he still occupies today.

A passion for


In the 2000s, the aerodrome’s rules of conduct changed. The city of Annemasse handed over its administration via a public service delegation contract. Thus, the LLC Marcel Bruchon, a subsidiary of this organisation, handles its management and responsibilities in association with the municipality.
The new generation takes over! François Gonnet, who had managed the site since 1983, passed the torch on to his son, Frédéric, who is currently responsible for this hub and its security, as well as the educational component of the aviation school. Proposing accredited training for European qualifications, the flying school attracts every year more than 100 trainee pilots destined for civil and military aviation.
As one of the leading clubs in France, the aerodrome now represents 400 members of the aviation sports and microlight association. With 7,000 hours of flying clocked up each year (across all activities), the club pursues its development in the aim of passing on a passion for aviation and exploring the region from the sky. Boasting some 24 planes and 17 employees, in its everyday activities the CAA shines a spotlight on Marcel Bruchon, by the structure’s very name which pays homage to its former chairman who made it a venue for sharing this passion.


A twirling


The Marcel Bruchon aerodrome welcomes planes for business and tourism and today hosts several organisations offering a wide range of services. The CAA and training school for leisure activities and sightseeing flights. Mont-Blanc Helicopters, with maintenance workshop and a range of activities. Services include the SAMU and emergency services to transport patients all over France.

Today, this aerodrome is a hub for the Haute-Savoie aviation industry. This is a popular departure point for pilots looking for some excitement, as they can take off and fly over the valleys of Haute-Savoie. From the shores of Lake Geneva to the peaks of the Chablais Geopark and the Pays du Mont-Blanc, this is the perfect location for aircraft. You can even admire the aerodrome activity from Annemasse and the surrounding area.

From Annemasse train station, the Signal des Voirons, the hillsides of the Petit Salève, you can watch in amazement as these impressive contraptions fly back and forth. So many places to come and admire and contemplate the planes taking off from the aerodrome.
Close your eyes and zone out for a moment, picture yourself behind the controls of one of these planes. An amazing, breathtaking view before you. On one side, the snow-capped Mont-Blanc peaks are glistening away. On the other side, the Geneva fountain and Lake Geneva look so beautiful. Are you afraid to fly? Keep your feet firmly on the ground, look up and you’ll love watching them twirling up above you through the clouds. Unique experiences guaranteed in the Monts du Genevois.

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