The aerodrome was created by German military during World War II. Melsbroek also was operated by the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) during World War 2 (after the 1944 liberation). After the war, Melsbroek replaced Haren Airfield as the Belgian national airport. That title is now carried by the Zaventem terminal on the same aerodrome, built for the 1958 world exposition. At that time, the existing terminal was taken over by the then Belgian Air Force.