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Airport situation

Sion airport is located 2,5 km SW of Sion city in the Rhone Valley within the Alps and surrounded by high mountainous terrain. For IFR operation, it results in the ability to fly a steep approach with 6° descent gradient.

  
View from the west

The air traffic is channeled in the direction of the valley. The aerodrome circuit is very close to the runway and uses different altitudes according to the types of aircraft. Military air traffic is vertically separated from the civil air traffic.

Usually, the runway 25 is in use considering the wind prevailing in the valley comes from the west. In summer winds up to 20 kts are frequent especially in the afternoon.
By fœhn situation, the runway 07 is used. The flight conditions can be difficult because the foehn is a powerful wind which blows in gusts being able to reach 40 kts on the airport with moderate to severe turbulences. Be aware that perpendicular valleys can generate wind shears and / or crosswinds.

In winter, when the sun is low over the horizon, the visiblity can be reduced flying direction west.

The weather in central Valais is usually better than in the rest of the country. Statistically Sion is one of the sunniest places in Switzerland. The high surrounding mountains prevent most of the low-pressure weather systems and associated clouds to reach the region. Ground fog is almost unknown. The temperature varies from –10°C to +10°C in January to 25°C to 30°C in July and August. Snow reaches the lower elevations, but usually melts within a few days or within one or two weeks.

  
Joint use civil and military

The civil tarmac is located in the northern part of the airport and the military tarmac in the southern part. However, the civil traffic can use the taxiways of the southern part to reach the parking place and the handling and maintenance hangars.

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