Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport (French: Aéroport de Lyon-Saint Exupéry ), formerly known as Lyon Satolas Airport ( IATA : LYS , ICAO : LFLL ), is the international airport of Lyon , the third-biggest city in France and an important transport facility for the entire Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It lies in Colombier-Saugnieu , 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi) southeast of Lyon's city centre. The airport was inaugurated by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing on 12 April 1975 and opened to passengers a week later. It was designed to replace the old Lyon–Bron Airport , which is now only used for general aviation . In 1994 the LGV Rhône-Alpes high-speed rail line brought TGV service to the airport, providing direct trains to Paris and Marseille . The fan-shaped canopy of the Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry , designed by architect Santiago Calatrava , is the airport's most notable architectural feature. The airport was originally named Lyon Satolas Airport , but in 2000 the airport and train station were renamed in honour of Lyonnais aviation pioneer and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry , on the centenary of his birth. He was a native of Lyon, and a laureate of the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française , and died in World War II . Since 1997, the airport has been a focus city for the airline Air France .