Châlons Vatry Airport
|Operator||Société d'Exploitation Vatry Europort (SEVE)|
|Elevation AMSL||586 ft / 179 m|
Châlons Vatry Airport (French: Aéroport Châlons-Vatry; IATA: XCR, ICAO: LFOK) is a minor international airport serving Châlons-en-Champagne (formerly Châlons-sur-Marne) in northeastern France. It is located 22 km (14 mi) southeast of Châlons-en-Champagne, near Vatry, in the Marne department. It opened as Vatry Air Base in 1953 and switched from military to civilian use in 2000.
For freight operations, it is marketed as Vatry Europort and gave its name to the former communauté de communes de l'Europort. For passenger traffic, it is also unofficially marketed as Paris-Vatry or Paris-Vatry (Disney), although it is 147 km (91 mi) east of downtown Paris and approximately 105 km (65 mi) away from Disneyland Paris.
Châlons Vatry Airport's origins began in 1950 when, with the Cold War, NATO faced several problems while attempting to solve the air power survival equation. Planning for first strike survival in both conventional and nuclear wars had to be considered. Construction began in 1953, and Vatry Air Base was designed for 50 fighters with three large hangars constructed. With the French withdrawal from the integrated NATO military structure in 1967, the American forces left Vatry Air Base and it was closed.
For many years, Vatry Air Base was under the control of the French Air Force and used for a training facility. Around 2000, it was sold to civil interests and today is being used as an international heavy cargo and commercial passenger airport.