Some preliminary considerations about launch sites in France

Since June 2009 the balloon launch bases of Aire Sur L'Adour and Gap-Tallard are inactive for stratospheric balloon launches as a result of an increment in the failure and safety requeriments on regard this activity. The greater population density, and the subsequent increasing of the air and ground traffic forced the aerial authorities to halt all balloon flights in France until a whole new strategy for solving safety issues could be outlined. This include the development of new control systems to make precision landings feasible among other factors.

Many of the improvements in CNES balloon systems had already been tested during recent campaigns performed in Canada. However I have not information about the date on which the restriction will be lifted.

Centre de Lancement de Ballons, Aire Sur L'Adour, Landes
Permanent facility inside a civilian airport

Main base for French balloon launches since 1963.
Estimated number of launches performed there: 400

Gap-Tallard Airport, Haute Alpes
Civilian Airport / Permanent balloon launch facility

Used for stratospheric balloon launches since 1966 as alternative site during summer
Estimated number of launches done there: 200

Other French balloon launch sites to be included in StratoCat in the near future

  • Candillargues
  • Ile du Levant
  • Meudon Observatory
  • Sausset-les-Pins, Bouches-du-Rhône
  • Trappes, Yvelines
  • Villacoublay Air Force Base, Yvelines