It would be necessary to wait until the 30s for the appearance of the first surfaced airfields on European terrestial airfields. This happened in France, not at Bourget, but at Bordeaux-Mérignac, as well as some military airfields such as Istres and Hyères.
This period at the end of the 30s was also when great hopes were pinned on the aerial use of large areas of water. However, these views would no longer be held, as soon as the war ended.
Up until the war years, and in the absence of a developed runway, aeroplanes “took off” and landed more or less into the wind on a grassed polygonal area, according to an axis marked by a landing circle and the direction indicated by its landing tee, which was itself laid out on a signal area. The take-off and landing area was defined by markings on the ground such as are found nowadays on unfinished runways.
The items found in this section were assembled by Jean Sauter, then a member of the IGACEM (Inspection Générale de l’Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie – General Inspection of Civil Aviation and Meteorology) and can be found in the “Atlas historique des terrains d’aviation” (Historical atlas of airfields). They are transcribed in the form of a CD by the D.G.A.C.(Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile – Civil Aviation Authority), which owns the user rights.
Internet users interested in the information contained in this CD should contact the D.G.A.C. in order to obtain access.