Serving Reunion Island
Reunion Island Roland Garros Airport has been a major player in the island’s economic and tourist development for several decades, providing essential infrastructure to serve the territory and its population. The aeronautical history of Reunion Island started here in the hamlet of Gillot, where the first plane to land on the island touched down in 1929. It is now the site of France’s 11th biggest airport in terms of passenger numbers. It is named after Roland Garros, the pioneering aviator and hero of the First World War who was born on Reunion Island.
The main gateway in and out of Reunion Island, the airport has grown and modernised at the same time as the island and represents for the inhabitants an anchor point between Reunion Island and the rest of the world. The operator of Reunion Island Roland Garros Airport strives to cultivate this strong symbolic dimension.
The first plane
The aviator Marcel Goulette accomplished the first air link between metropolitan France and Reunion Island on 26th November 1929. His Farman landed in a field in the hamlet of Gillot, especially prepared for the occasion. From 1933, the site was used by the Roland Garros flying club.
The first runway
After the Second World War, flights to and from the island became more organised. The Gillot land became Reunion Island’s airport and a 1 870 m asphalt runway was built.
The first terminal
The first terminal was built near the sea, in the outskirts of the Maperine quarter.
The Chamber of Commerce airport operator
The government entrusted the running of the airport to the island’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Air traffic developed between metropolitan France and Reunion Island, via Madagascar.
The first Boeing
The runway was extended to 2 670 m to allow the landing of four-engined aircraft. The first Air France B 707 landed at Gillot, whose terminal was expanded.
The airport facilities were moved to the south of the runway. The current terminal was built, as well as a cargo terminal and a complex of technical buildings.
Creation of Air Austral
The Reunion Island company offered medium-haul flights over the Indian Ocean, as well as long-haul flights to metropolitan France from 2003.
Creation of Réunion Air Assistance
The airport ground services company works with all the airline companies and supplements the services offered by Air France.
The long runway
A second runway was created. 3 200 m long, it allowed aircraft to take off fully loaded and to fly non-stop to metropolitan France. For its inauguration, on 26th November, the terminal was renamed “Aéroport de Reunion Island Roland Garros” in tribute to the pioneering aviator who was born on Reunion Island.
New cargo terminal
A new cargo terminal was built on the eastern section of the airport.
Creation of a regular flight between Reunion Island and Asia (Bangkok) operated by Air Austral, firstly through a code sharing agreement with Air Madagascar then under its own brand from 2011.
The A 380
An Airbus A 380 landed at Reunion Island Roland Garros Airport on 11th November 2009 on a test flight.
The S.A. Aéroport de Reunion Island
Reunion Island Roland Garros Airport concession was transferred to an airport company made up of the State, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and local authorities. For the first time the airport exceeded the threshold of two million passengers in 2011. Its activity has been growing regularly since the end of the 1980s with the development of competition on the metropolitan France-Reunion Island route, the main component of the traffic.
New visual identity
Creation and launch of the new visual identity for Reunion Island Roland Garros Airport
Runways and taxiways
Work began to reinforce and expand runways and taxiways
The passenger Terminal eastern extension
Start of work on the passenger terminal eastern extension
Runway and taxiway
Final completion of runway and taxiway reinforcement and shoulder broadening works
Power plant construction
New backup power plant construction works started west of the airport
Airport Company ISO 14001 (Environnement Management) ans ISO 50001 (Energy Management) certified. ISO 9001 certification renewed and extensed to the Freight Terminal
Opening of the passenger Terminal eastern
Opening of the passenger Terminal eastern extension and delivery of the phase I of the program of investments 2001-2015