-Charles de Gaulle Airport (IATA: CDG, ICAO: LFPG) also known as Roissy
Airport (or just Roissy in French), is one of the World
's principal aviation centres, as well as France
's largest airport. It is named after Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), leader of the Free French Forces and founder of the French Fifth Republic. It is located within portions of several communes, 25 km (16 mi) to the northeast of Paris. The airport serves as the principal hub for Air France.
In 2011, the airport handled 60,970,551 passengers and 514,059 aircraft movements, making it the world's sixth busiest airport and Europe
's second busiest airport (after London Heathrow) in passengers served. It also is the world's tenth busiest and Europe's busiest airport in aircraft movement. In cargo traffic, the airport is the fifth busiest in the world and the second busiest in Europe after Frankfurt Airport, having handled 2,087,952 metric tonnes of cargo in 2011. On 1 March 2011, Franck Goldnadel was appointed as the director of the airport.
The Airport has three terminals. Terminal 1is the oldest. Terminal 2 was originally built exclusively for Air France, since then it has been expanded significantly and now also hosts other airlines. The third terminal (T3, formerly T9) hosts charter and low-cost airlines. The CDGVAL is a light-rail shuttle that links the terminals, railway station and parking lots. Started on 4 April 2007, the CDGVAL links all three terminals (except hall 2G). There is only a single station for Terminal 2, near the rail station, so the walk distance to the more distant halls 2A–2B is more than 500 m (1,600 ft) (and both CDGVAL and bus are needed to reach 2G from Terminal 1).
On 7 November 2005, prefectoral decision 05-4979 was issued, relating specifically to Charles de Gaulle airport. The article 32-5 prohibits photographs being taken for private use of anything moving (e.g. aircraft) or not moving (e.g. buildings) within the "zone reservée" (the restricted area) from the "zone publique" (the public area).
The grassy lands on which the airport is located are notorious for rabbits and hares, which can be seen by passengers at certain times of the day. The airport organises periodic hunts and captures to keep the population to manageable levels.
In Popular Culture:
- The video of the U2 song "Beautiful Day" is entirely set at the airport, featuring some of the dramatic architecture. The band also plays on the runway with, apparently, jumbo jets taking off and landing just above. Both Air France and MEA make a cameo in the video. The cover photo for their album All That You Can't Leave Behind was also taken at the airport.
- The airport tarmac was used in the Disneyland Resort Paris attraction film The Timekeeper (Le Visionarium), featuring an Air France Concorde and a Union des Transports Aériens McDonnell Douglas DC-10.
- Many scenes were filmed at the airport for the film The Concorde ... Airport '79.
- The distinctive escalator tubes of Terminal 1 are featured in the films Private Benjamin and French Kiss and are used as the backdrop of the album cover for I Robot by The Alan Parsons Project.
- The check-in area of Terminal 2F is a favourite film location for French directors and can frequently be seen in French films that require an airport location.
- The film Décalage Horaire (Jet Lag) is set primarily at the airport and a nearby hotel.
- The movie Frantic features a scene in terminal one when Harrison Ford and Emmanuelle Seigner pick up lost baggage.
- The movie Rush Hour 3 features Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker arriving at Terminal 2F