A Brief Outline of Our History

The history of Châteauroux-Centre Airport has always been closely linked to that of aviation and the aeronautical industry.

It was here that, in 1936, Marcel Dassault created his first aircraft manufacturing plant.

 

In 1951, in an agreement with the French government, the U.S. Air Force chose Châteauroux as the site for its biggest air base in Europe because of its favourable climatic conditions and central European location. That was when the airport became known as CHAD, an abbreviation of Châteauroux Air Depot, and CHAS, for Châteauroux Air Station.


The Americans left the site in 1967, when the airport facilities were returned to French ownership. The regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and local municipalities together invested in modernisation work and launched commercial activities at the airport in 1974.

In 1995, the airport came under the control of the General Council of the local Indre département (French equivalent of a county). Management of the airport was given to a joint public consortium made up of the Châteauroux district municipalities, the region's Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the town council of Coings. The length of the runway was extended to 3, 500 metres (11, 500 feet).

 

In March 2007, the French state transferred management responsibility to the Regional Council of the Centre, which decided to develop the airport's industrial activities, both in the field of air freight traffic (and in a complimentary role to the Paris airports) and that of aircraft maintenance.