Opened in 1919, Bourget was the first civilian airport in Paris until the construction of Orly airport. It was from Bourget airport that the pioneers of civil aviation (among others Charles Lindbergh, Nungesser and François Coli). This historic terminal was designed by the architect Georges Labro at the end of a competition organized by the Ministry of Aviation in 1935. It was inaugurated on November 12th 1937 for the international exhibition in Paris but it was seriously damaged during the Second World War.
From April 1945 the aerodrome saw the return of the deportees interned in the German concentration camps and survivors of the extermination camps situated in Poland. Those who were repatriated by planes were often the most affected. Some political prisoners also returned to Paris via Bourget aerodrome. Many repatriates returned by train via the Parisian stations (Orsay in particular). Deportees released from the Soviet zone were grouped together in Odessa and returned by boat to Marseille.
The Bourget site was used as a civil airport up to 1970. Today, it exhibits the collection of the Air and Space Museum.