CDG Terminal 1: ‘The Camembert’

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) Terminal 1 – © David H. Enzel, 2024

Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG) opened on March 13, 1974. It has three terminals. Terminal 1 (shown above) is the oldest terminal. It was inaugurated on March 8, 1974 by French Prime Minister Pierre Messmer (1916-2007), after eight years of construction.

Designed by the young architect Paul Andreu (1938-2018), this first terminal featured an innovative design of brutalist architecture. It has a central circular building linked to seven satellites. Designed to facilitate the distribution of passenger flows, this singular structure earned the terminal its nickname, which is still used today, the Camembert.

The first Air France flight from Paris-Charles de Gaulle took off on April 30, 1974. The Caravelle F-BHRA, the first aircraft of its type delivered to Air France, took off for Belgrade and Sofia, with a crew led by flight captain Henri Cibert.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle is the busiest airport within the European Union. In 2022, it handled 57,474,033 passengers and 34,657 aircraft movements, thus making it the world’s ninth busiest airport and Europe’s third busiest airport (after Istanbul and Heathrow) in terms of passenger numbers.


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