Abstract The success of gene transfer in preclinical animal models and proof of principle clinical studies has made gene therapy an attractive concept for disease treatment. A variety of diseases affecting the lung are candidates for gene therapy. Delivery of genes to the lungs seems to be straightforward, because of the easy accessibility of epithelial cells via the airways. However, efficient delivery and expression of the therapeutic transgene at levels sufficient to result in phenotypic correction of the diseased state have proven elusive. This review presents a brief summary about current status and future prospects in the development of viral and non-viral strategies for pulmonary gene therapy.