Nice Cote d’Azur Airport Cam

Pronounced the same as the daughter of your sister or brother (niece)

Nice (NCE) is the next busiest Airport in France, right after Paris-Orly (ORY) and Paris-Charles De Gaulle (CDG).  On an annual basis it completes 150-170,000 air-flight operations, and handled more than 12 million passengers in 2015.  It is only six kilometres from Nice, France.

The airport is surrounded by first rate hotels and spectacular beaches, so it might be a great place to start your vacation.  From Nice there are easyJet connections all the way from Egypt to Iceland; from Sweden to Morocco; from Spain to Estonia.  You will not be hard-pressed to find somewhere interesting to go.

As part of the same business package they also operate Cannes Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez airports.  All three airports now proudly declare that they run on 100% renewable green energy.

If you’re heading for Cote d’Azur (the French Riviera), to investigate the casinos (and maybe find a famous locale for a James Bond movie), or see the famous and glamorous beach resorts, such as Cannes or Saint-Tropez, Nice is your gateway.

Helicopter service for the independent Principality of Monaco is available from the airport.  You can fly directly to the microstate by chopper, if that is your destination, through the airport’s separate and distinct helicopter terminal.

Probably by the next time you head to Nice the new tramway should be complete.  It will whisk you into downtown in just a few minutes.  Of course you can rent a car, hire a taxi, take a bus or the shuttles, or take a 10 minute walk to the train station.

Before you leave however, you probably shouldn’t be surprised that the airport has typical high-end items and gifts in its shops, as well as hair and nail spas, pharmacy, fashion accessories, jewelery, and of course, fine a French gastronomy.

It’s actually a popular destination for locals that aren’t travelling anywhere.  And unlike other French airports it has a free broadband Wi-Fi if you have an enabled device.  Failing that they do have an Internet café type of arrangement where you can connect for an hour for €5.00, half an hour for €3.00, or even 15 minutes for €2.00.  Bring your own device and surf for free.

Historical Information

Like many early airports, it was basically a level field that was big enough for the mail-plane to stop and then take off again.  That’s how it was in 1918 for Nice with the mail-flights between themselves and Corsica, in Spain.  Finally, in the late twenties, Cote d’Azur Airport was established and used by the Nice Flying Club.

Naturally, during the Second World War, the airport was pressed into service as an air force base.  In 1944, not long before the end of the war, it finally got its first hard-surfaced runway.

         4L/22R             4R/22L

For all the jet-setters of the 1960s Nice was a primary destination for the nouveau riche lifestyle.  It got busy enough that they actually added a second runway in 1978.  4-Left and 4-Right face 40° (northeast) and, if you’re landing in the opposite direction, 22-Right and 22-Left face 220° (southwest).  Airports always drop last digit and round to nearest 10°, so now you understand what the runway numbers mean.

Feel free to watch the live webcam across the water from the Nice Airport at any time.  There is an additional pair at Cafeteria Centre Nautique and Surf Shop which might reveal some interesting sites.  On average they handle 438 flight operations per day.

In this particular video it is set to music!  More particularly, it is set to a Gregorian Chant.  It just seemed to suit the video perfectly.

To add that extra layer of reality, don’t forget to check out the Flight Radar.  In combination with listening to the communications between the ground and the aircraft it is almost like being there.  This is approach control for NCE and this is the NCE Tower Control.

If you are a fan of aircraft movements, you can watch the skies around Nice Cote d’Azur Airport here.  Clicking on any plane will identify it, providing you its flight plan, how much time it has been airborne and how long until it reaches its destination.

Incidents

The aviation-safety database records six incidents between 1945 and 1979 including military losses, mechanical failures, air show accidents, and a private jet having a double engine failure.  A 1993 incident was an attempted hijacking by an Algerian man who wanted to be taken to Libya.  The plane carried on to Nice whereupon he was arrested.

 

The Takeaway

Ah yes—Nice—home to gorgeous resorts, beautiful fine beaches, and azure skies.  And Nice airport is the de facto gateway to Monaco, where you will find some of the finest and most famous casinos in the world.

If you want to travel further afield from Nice, the Italian rail service which stops at the Nice railway station, will take you to Venice, Rome, Milan, or Genoa.  On the other hand there are direct trains from London or Paris (the latter only taking 6 hours) if you wish to see La Tour Eiffel and other noteworthy French landmarks such as the Champs-Élysées or the Arc de Triomphe.

If you don’t travel to Europe often, Nice can be a very good place to start.

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