Nice Cote d'Azur Airport (NCE)
History, Facts and Overview
Nice has a history of aviation dating back to the very early 1900s, when its air show in 1910 took place at the Nice hippodrome and drew large crowds. Postal flights between Nice and nearby Corsica began in 1918 and following a series of further air shows, Cote d'Azur Airport came into being in the late 1920s, commissioned by the Air Ministry and used by the Nice Flying Club.
During WWII, the Nice Cote d'Azur Airport was used by the military and Air Force, and it was not until 1944 that any major improvements were made, including the arrival of a hard-surface runway. Shortly afterwards, Air France began flying between Nice and Paris, which quickly became a popular service.
By 1950, passenger numbers had shot up to around 200,000 each year, soon to reach one million in 1964, and then two million in 1972, following several terminal extensions and the lengthening of the runway to around 2,700 metres / 8,860 feet. Jumbo jets and the package holiday boom brought further prosperity to Nice Cote d'Azur Airport and in 1978, a second runway opened using land reclaimed by back-filling the sea.
In 1987, a new terminal was built, which at that time cost more than FRF300 million. Today, after winning many awards for excellence, expansion of Nice Cote d'Azur Airport (NCE) has slowed down somewhat, although passenger levels do continue to increase, year after year.
There are banks plus cash withdrawal facilities in both terminals at Nice Cote d'Azur Airport, while Terminal 1 offers a bureau de change and a post office. Internet kiosks are on hand in Terminal 2 and Wi-Fi access is available throughout the airport. Ample shopping and dining facilities can be found in both terminals, while duty-free outlets cluster around the Schengen Lounge and International Lounge, including Aerlia and Dufry.