A Concrete Runway for Gatow

During World War II, German aircraft were taking off at Gatow airfield on a large, grass-covered area – ideally, into the wind and minimally prone to enemy bombs. The British, on the contrary, placed greater importance on paved runways, which allowed for smoother flight operations and a tighter takeoff/landing schedule.

Hence, the first landing strip made of perforated steel planking was laid out in 1945. In March 1947, the construction of a concrete runway commenced. The construction works took up speed once the airlift began. The first concrete runway (2000 yards long) was finished four months earlier than planned and was ready for operation on 11 July 1948.