“...the Only Landing Aid for Bad Weather on the Berlin Side of the Airlift”

Ground-controlled approach systems (GCA) are ground-based landing aids. With the help of radars and radiotelephones, the pilots were able to determine their location and how to land when their view was obstructed due to bad weather conditions. The system was invented in England during World War II to help returning bomber aircraft to land safely. In 1945, Gatow was one of the first airfields in continental Europe to be equipped with this kind of system. The GCA equipment in Gatow made it possible for the airlift to be maintained in the darkness and in adverse weather conditions, particularly in the early days of the Berlin Airlift. In late 1948, Tempelhof airport also received a GCA system.