Roissy Charles De Gaulle, The Leading French Airport
Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport was built in 1964 and inaugurated in 1974 to meet the increasing number of travelers. This huge airport, which continues to expand, ranked first in Europe in 2006 for air traffic and freight volume and second for the number of passengers.
The Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, sometimes referred to as Paris Charles de Gaulle, is France's premier airport.
More commonly known as 'Charles-de-Gaulle Airport' or 'Roissy' (after the commune of Roissy-en-France on which it is partly located), it is located 23 kilometers northeast of Paris.
It has three terminals designated CDG 1, CDG 2 and CDG 3.
The third terminal, designed to accommodate charter and low-cost flights, is accessible on foot from the exit of the RER Charles de Gaulle 1, via a passageway provided for this purpose.
Roissy airport in figures
In 2006, Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport ranked seventh in the world and second in Europe for passenger numbers, with more than 56 million travelers.
This figure placed it just behind London Heathrow Airport and its 67 million passengers, but ahead of Frankfurt International Airport.
It occupied the leading position in Europe for air traffic, ahead of Frankfurt and Heathrow, with 541,566 movements.
It also ranked first in Europe and seventh in the world in freight volume (with more than 2 million tons of cargo), just ahead of Frankfurt and Amsterdam-Schiphol.
The airport, which covers 3,200 hectares, generates 10% of the wealth created in Île-de-France and 85,000 jobs, in 700 companies.
The birth of Roissy airport
The project to build new airport infrastructure began as early as 1962 to cope with the rapid growth in air passenger transport and anticipate the predicted saturation of Orly Airport and Le Bourget Airport, which had been created around the time of the First World War.
The creation of the 'Paris Nord' airport on a large agricultural area 25 km northeast of Paris was decided by the interministerial decree of June 16, 1964.
The airport was initially to occupy an area of 2915 ha located on the territory of seven municipalities.
This project has caused a lively controversy between the inhabitants deploring the nuisances brought and the supporters of the new airport, who saw it as a factor of economic development and progress.
The Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport was finally inaugurated in 1974, after ten years of Travaux and contestations.
The extension of the airport
The second terminal, designed by Paul Andreu, was inaugurated in 1982.
It included halls 2A and 2B, soon expanded by the construction of hall 2D (in 1989), 2C (in 1993) and the First peninsula of 2F (1999).
Part of the boarding pier of the newest terminal, 2E, collapsed in 2004, about a year after it was opened.
Currently, only a portion of Terminal 2E is open.
The damaged boarding pier is being rebuilt for a planned reopening in March 2008.
The terminal of Tgv Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle 2 is located between Terminals C and D on one side and E and F on the other.
In 2007, the project to build a vast shopping mall south of the airport platform again arouses controversy.
This giant shopping mall, named 'Aéroville', is to house high-end stores and services.
This project designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc should be built in 2008 for an opening in 2012.
Other expansion projects are also underway.
A subway in the airport
At Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, the connection between the parking lots and the various terminals is now made thanks to a Metro free automatic system: the line 1 of the CDGVAL.
This line, which connects 5 stations in just 8 minutes, went into service on April 4, 2007.