Aerial photographs shot during historical IGN (Institut Géographique National) missions reveal aeronautical activity on the current site of the Sisteron-Vaumeilh airfield named “Le Plan” near Vaumeilh village as early as 1937.
The airfield was used by military aircraft during WWII.
Starting in the early 1970’s, various French gliding air clubs came to discover and practice mountain soaring at the airfield: Valenciennes, Lille, Cambrai, Nancy… The first Sisteron Airclub (UAD-Union Aérienne de la Durance) was soon created.
A club house and hangars were added under the leadership of a few pioneering pilots among which are: Joseph Gallego, Henri Decaroli, Aimé Blache, Jean Julien, Pierre Delhay, Marcel Touzé and others, aided by local authorities, the municipality of Sisteron, the Chamber of Commerce.
Over the years since then, and to this day, UAD and its successors have established the airfield as an internationally-recognized mountain gliding standard for pilots from the world over. The (then state-owned) airfield’s specialization with soaring was confirmed by the addition of specific installations by the SMAG (Syndicat Mixte d’Aménagement et de Gestion).
Club offices, a briefing room, a vast hangar for gliders with a maintenance workshop were built under the SMAG governance, along with a small paved airstrip for glider launching on the East side of the grass runway, and a restaurant and camping area.
In 2007, ownership of the (then named Sisteron-Thèze) State-owned airfield was transferred by the State to the SIAG (Syndicat d’Aménagement et de Gestion), created for this purpose.
The airfield thus became a municipal airfield, and was subsequently renamed « Sisteron-Vaumeilh Airfield».
In 2014, the Sisteron-Vaumeilh airfield was selected by the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) to host the Soaring World Cup finals (SGP Soaring Grand Prix- Sisteron 2014).
In 2015 : The SIAG has invested heavily in substantial retrofit works on the airstrip and other installations in compliance with European standards thus improving safety for all Sisteron Soaring pilots and visitors.
The permanent aeronautic activities on Sisteron-Vaumeilh Airfield have been accrued by the creation of a new air club by based Microlight aircraft owners and pilots : Aeroclub des Trois Rivieres.
A glider launching winch dedicated to affordable beginners’ school for young pilots has been added to the airfield equipment.