Skip to main content

A look back to the year 2023 - further recovery in passenger traffic

The recovery in passenger traffic continued throughout the year 2023. In total, the Airport welcomed around 8.1 million passengers in 2023. This represents a decrease of 11% compared to 2019 and an increase of 15% compared to 2022. While Cargo was on the decline, the Industry sector proved to be robust. The Airport is financially sound and committed to the principles of sustainable development.

The year 2023 was characterised by a further recovery of passenger-related air traffic.

At of the end of 2023, the total amount of jobs located on the airport platform amounted to 6.390, of which 394 are directly with EuroAirport as the Airport’s operating company. Therefore, the Airport remains one of the big employers in the Trinational Region. Further recovery of air traffic also allowed for increased investments.

The three Strategic Business Areas

Further recovery in passenger traffic

In 2023, EuroAirport recorded approximately 8.1 million passengers, a decrease of 11% compared to 2019 and an increase of 15% in passenger traffic compared to 2022.

During summer, even higher frequencies than in 2019 were registered during peak periods, despite overall lower passenger and flight movement figures. Summer operations at EuroAirport continued to run smoothly in 2023.

The number of total flight movements amounted to 88.323 (+5%/2022 or -11%/2019), of which almost 69.000 (+4.7%/2022 or -15.3%/2019) were commercial flights.

EuroAirport fulfilled its mission to ensure air transportation connectivity to and from the Trinational Region: in 2023, 29 airlines offered a total of 100 destinations primarily to Europe and the Mediterranean region.

Cargo business in decline

Basel-Mulhouse Airport plays a strategic role in cargo-related air traffic within the regional logistics cluster. The Cargo business can be divided into two major segments: general cargo (full cargo and trucked cargo) and express freight.

Cargo business declined in 2023, a decline of 6.6% (106.800 tons) in total freight volume was registered (Previous year: 114.320 tons, 2019: 106.075 tons). The decrease in express freight amounted to -6.4% (-2,1%/2019), while general cargo registered a decrease of 10.3% for full cargo and a decrease of 5.5% for trucked cargo.

Resilience of the Strategic Business Area Industry

The third business area, Industry, specialised in aircraft maintenance and conversion, was once again robust in 2023. EuroAirport’s industrial center of competence is of global significance and generates one third of all jobs located directly on the airport platform. It includes five companies: Jet Aviation, AMAC Aerospace, Air Service Basel, Nomad Technics AG and Pilatus since 2023. Full order books enable these companies to further pursue necessary investments.

The Airport is adapting to a new situation

A new strategy for the benefit of the Trinational Region

At the beginning of 2020, the Covid-19-related crisis ended a decade of growth for the sector of air transportation. Today, air traffic is gradually returning to the 2019 levels in Europe and the Mediterranean region. However, travel habits have changed. At Basel-Mulhouse Airport, travel for family reasons increased significantly, while business travel decreased. The proportion of tourism-related trips is relatively stable. 

The greatest challenge for air transportation in the coming decades will be decarbonisation. The reduction of night-time aircraft noise pollution is a particular concern for Basel-Mulhouse Airport, as it is located in a densely populated area.

Basel-Mulhouse Airport’s strategy is in line with this responsibility. The Airport already defined its core mission as follows in 2019:

“EuroAirport ensures air transportation connectivity for the Trinational Region of Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. In doing so, it takes into account the principles of sustainable development."

This definition was confirmed by the Board of Directors for the new EAP 23 Strategy. The implementation of the sustainability principle across all sectors will be intensified once again. The three pillars of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - are taken into account for all decisions. A summary of the Strategy is available here.

Focus on improving service quality

One of the Airport’s key strategic concerns is to improve service quality for passengers. The last terminal building conversion was carried out from 2000 to 2002 with the construction of a Y-shaped finger dock and the extensions of the main building located in the north and south. Today, there are regular signs of congestion in the terminal during passenger peaks. In addition, increasingly stringent security requirements in recent years have led to passenger routes becoming more complex. The EMT Project (Evolution Modulaire du Terminal, Modular Development of the Terminal) is intended to remedy this situation. Click here to learn more about the project.


The two major focal points for action, the reduction of the carbon footprint as well a night-time noise pollution, were further pursued in 2023.

Noise strategy

EuroAirport’s noise strategy focuses on reducing night-time noise emissions (between 22:00 and 06:00) and implementing the measures set out in the French Noise Prevention Plan 2024-2028 (Plan de Prévention du Bruit dans l’Environnement, PPBE).

The Airport will check technical and financial measures to further reduce night-time aircraft noise pollution, including the measures in the PPBE draft 2024-2028. Please click here to view these measures.

The Airport also provides for the following:

  • Consistent implementation of the measures in force since February 2022 (Decree of August 6, 2021: Ban on scheduled departures after 23:00)
  • Sharp increase in noise charges after 22:00 as of January 1, 2024 to avoid take-offs during sensitive hours.

Intermediate progress report about the August 6, 2021 decree (ban on scheduled departures after 23:00)

Since February 2022, no departures after 23:00 were scheduled anymore. The number of departures scheduled after 23:00 has decreased by 48% compared to previous years (average, from 2017 to 2019, runway time). Since the implementation of the measure, noise pollution in the north of the Airport has decreased, while the noise situation at the Airport’s southern limits has worsened between 23:00 and 23:15. The main reason for this is that some flights continue to be scheduled shortly before 23:00, which means that they take off from the runway between 23:00 and 23:15. Every effort is being made to improve this situation.

According to the decree, the French supervisory authority ACNUSA has imposed fines of over 1.4 million euro in total for take-offs after 23:00 for which airlines were responsible.

SAIP (Sectoral Aviation Infrastructure Plan) Noise Pollution Report 2022

As the third Swiss national airport, EuroAirport must periodically provide evidence of noise pollution that occurred over Swiss territory. The report for 2019 showed for the first time that the immission limits were exceeded over Swiss territory during night time between 22:00 and 24:00. Due to the pandemic-related traffic decline, noise pollution decreased in 2020 and 2021 and the requirements of the Noise Abatement Ordinance were once again met. The last Noise Pollution Report refers to the year 2022. While noise pollution during the day over Swiss territory is below the relevant Swiss immission limits and the noise situation during this time has improved compared to 2019, exceedances of the immission limits were recorded in the first and second hours of the night (22:00-23:00 and 23:00-24:00).

The EAP 23 Strategy provides for a reduction in night-time aircraft noise pollution. The measures described above, which have already been launched, are intended to reduce imissions between 23:00 and 24:00 to below the immission limits applicable in Switzerland in the medium term. In the period from 22:00 to 23:00, however, there is a need for action to ensure compliance with the immission limits. Concerning long-term noise reduction, it is essential to continue to monitor noise development closely. As mentioned, this is specifically provided for as a measure in the draft of the Noise Prevention Plan 2024-2028. This work will be carried out over the course of 2024 in collaboration with the Swiss FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation) and the French DGAC (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile). In addition, the Cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, the FOCA and the Airport will carry out an in-depth analysis of the situation and propose additional noise reduction measures if necessary.

The percentage of landings from the south at EuroAirport as of the end of 2023

The proportion of landing approaches from the South (ILS 33 landings, Instrument Landing System) for 2023 is 13.9% (previous year: 11.5%). This means that, due to weather conditions, the 2023 figure is well above the threshold value of 10 percent such as defined in the administrative agreement of February 10, 2006 on runway use. Out of a total of 34.953 IFR landings (previous year: 33.191), 4.847 (previous year: 3.814) took place from the south on runway 33 (IFR: Instrument Flight Rules). Just as in the previous years, higher values were recorded during spring and summer in particular.

According to the agreement of February 10, 2006, it is the responsibility of the DGAC and the FOCA to start consultations in order to ensure that the threshold values of the administrative agreement from 2006 are complied with.

Measures to reduce CO2 emissions

The Airport is acting on two levels: on the one hand, the Airport is committed to reducing its own CO2 emissions. Secondly, it intends to reduce the Airport’s overall emissions in collaboration with all airport platform stakeholders.

In fall 2021, EuroAirport set itself the voluntary target of "net zero emissions" by 2030 at the latest for CO2 emissions for which the airport operator is responsible and which it can therefore influence directly.

In addition to already implemented measures such as the conversion to green electric power and the Airport's connection to the district heating system of the City of Saint-Louis, the following projects are planned to help achieve this target:

  • Construction of a biomass central heating plant on the airport premises
  • Installation of photovoltaic systems
  • Replacement of the existing vehicle fleet by electric cars

Concerning the Airport’s overall emissions, various measures associated with the reduction of CO2 emissions are being implemented in collaboration with the airport platform stakeholders. This is primarily part of a comprehensive mobility concept involving all airport partners in order to make landside access to the Airport more fossil-free.


EuroAirport expects 8.4 million passengers in 2024, which corresponds to around 92% of the traffic in 2019.

For the Strategic Business Area Cargo, the Airport expects the negative trend to continue in 2024 due to general global economic developments, while the Industry sector is expected to remain stable.

All measures and actions to reduce night-time aircraft noise pollution as well as CO2 emissions will be continued.