On 21 August 1937 the SCTA – Section Centrale des Transports Aériens (Central Air Transport Section) was formally established. The SCTA was tasked with transporting top civil and military officials from all branches of the government around France and to the overseas territories. It also was made responsible for Air Force aircraft temporarily loaned to pilots for record breaking long distance flights.
After the armistice of June 1940, this unit was replaced by the SSLA – Section spéciale de liaisons aériennes (Special Air Liaison Section) – with the main base moved from Villacoublay to Maison Blanche in Algeria. After the start of the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942 the unit moved to Boufarik and took the name Lignes Aériennes Militaires (LAM). In early 1943 the unit became Section de Liaison Aérienne 352 (SLA 352) of the Free French Air Force, thus ceasing to be a government agency.
|21 August 1937||SCTA established.|
|29 October 1940||SCTA becomes SSLA.|
|November 1942||SSLA becomes LAM.|
|early 1943||LAM becomes SLA 352.|
The SCTA was eventually replaced by the GLAM units of the French Air Force.
SCTA/SSLA aircraft often operated in a natural metal finish with rudders stripes in the national colours and air force style roundels on the wings. No service titles wwere carried.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
SCTA/SSLA aircraft carried standard French civil registrations, e.g. Potez 662 F-ARAY.
Coding system not used
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
|Aircraft Type||Quantity||Service Entry||Out of Service||Origin|
|Caudron C.270 Luciole||?||1940||1943||France|
|Caudron C.410 Phalene||?||1940||1943||France|
|Caudron C.445 Goeland||?||1940||1943||France|
|Caudron C.635 Simoun||?||1940||1943||France|
|Liore et Olivier LeO 45||1||1942||1943||France|
|Lockheed C-60A Lodestar||?||1943||1944||USA|
|Martin 167F Maryland||1||1940||1943||USA|
Aircraft NOT Used
No false reports known.
All aircraft were operated by the SCTA/SSLA.
Current Unit Assignments
Historical Unit Assignments
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
All-Time Air Bases Used List
Air bases used include Villacoublay, Maison Blanche and Boufarik.
Du Trimotor au Quadrijet by Vital Ferry (2006)
Icare No.102 (1982) – LAM feature article
Unresolved Research Issues
Several aircraft types are reported to have been operated by the “French Government”, but it is not clear which branch or agency was the actual operator. These include: Bleriot 110, Curtiss JN-3 & JN-4, de Havilland DH.4, de Havilland DH.88 Comet, Dewoitine D.338, Douglas DC-2, SCAN 30 (Grumman Widgeon), Lockheed 9 Orion, Vertol 44B, Wibault-Penhoet 280. Additional information is welcome.