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BCATP Site Locations for Visitors

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BCATP site locations for visitors

If you are interested in discovering some of Alberta’s aviation history, a trip to a former British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) base may be something you would enjoy. Click on a location below for directions to the site of your choice.

 

 

Bowden

Evidence of the BCATP still exists just outside of Bowden, and can been seen while driving on Highway 2 approximately one hour north of Calgary. However, the former site of Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Bowden, No. 32 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) is now owned by Canada Correctional Services and is the home of the Bowden penitentiary.

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Calgary

No. 3 Service FlyingTraining School, Calgary, Alberta, 1999.Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Calgary hosted three BCATP training schools and thus, there are three relevant sites to visit in one locale.

No. 3 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) was located in southwest Calgary, on what is now the Lincoln Park Campus of Mount Royal College. Near this site is the former Canadian Forces Base Currie which was closed only a few years ago. This area, rich in military history, is located just east of the corner of 37 St. and Glenmore Trail.

No. 37 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) was located in northeast Calgary and is now occupied by the Calgary International Airport. Be sure to stop into the Aerospace Museum located in a former BCATP hangar! To find the museum, follow McKnight Blvd. east until McCall Way. Turn left and follow the road until you reach the museum.

No. 2 Wireless School (WS) was located on what is now the campus of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). While most of the buildings have been dismantled, there remains a beautiful historic building that is worth the trip. To get to this site, follow the Trans Canada Highway west until you reach 14th St. NW and turn left. Take your next left and follow 14th Ave. onto the campus.

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ClaresholmClaresholm air terminal

The former site of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Claresholm, No. 15 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) is the home of a small industrial airport as well as local businesses. To visit the site, drive west of Claresholm on highway 520 approximately 2 km.


 

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De WintonFormer No. 31 Elementary Flight Training School at De Winton today.

Located south of Calgary, the former site of Royal Air Force (RAF) Station De Winton, No. 31 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) has been all but forgotten. Currently it is privately owned.

 

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EdmontonPembina Hall

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Edmonton was home to three of the training schools opened in the province under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).

To visit the former site of  No. 4 Initial Training School (ITS), go to the University of Alberta, located at 112 St. and 83 Ave. and find Pembina Hall, one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings on campus.No. 2 Air Observer School, Edmonton, Alberta, 1943.

No. 16 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) and No. 2 Air Observer School (AOS) shared the site that is now known as the Edmonton City Centre Airport. Many of the buildings have since been removed, but the Edmonton Aviation Heritage Society and Museum are located in a former BCATP hangar. To find the site, follow the Kingsway Avenue west until 114th St.

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Fort Macleod

Located on the outskirts of the south side of town is the former site of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Fort Macleod, No. 7 Service Flying Training School (SFTS). Now the Fort Macleod Industrial Airport, BCATP buildings can still be found. If you would like to visit this site, follow 12th St. west until you cross the town train tracks onto the south side. Stay on 12th St. until you reach 1st Ave., and then turn left. Follow 1st Ave. until you reach the airport.

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A mural painted on the Telus building in High River honouring Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station High River, home of No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS), 2002.High River

Located outside of High River is the former BCATP base of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station High River, No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS). It is currently privately owned and used for commercial purposes. There are two monuments that have been erected in High River, one inside the town and one at the actual site of the former base. To get to High River, follow Highway 2 south of Calgary.

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Lethbridge

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station LethbridgeFormer No. 8 Bombing and Gunnery School Lethbridge, Alberta, 1999., was home to two training schools, No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) and No. 8 Bombing and Gunnery School (B&GS). Both were located at what is now the Lethbridge County Airport. To visit the site, follow highway 5 approximately 3 km south of the city.

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Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat Municipal Airport grew out of the former Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Medicine Hat, No. 34 Service Flying Training School (SFTS). To visit the site, take the No. 1 highway into the city. Turn onto the “highway 3 Lethbridge” exit. Following the road approximately 1.5 km from the interchange you will come to the airport.

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PearceAirport Dairy, 1999.

The Pearce aerodrome was at one time, the home of three training schools, No. 36 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS), No. 3 Air Observer School (AOS) and No. 2 Flying Instructor School (FIS). Today, there is little to remind us of this. The land that was used for this site is currently privately owned.

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Penhold

Red Deer AirportWhat used to be Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Penhold, No. 36 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) is now the Red Deer Municipal Airport. To visit the site, follow signs from highway 2. From the overpass suggested by signs, drive west until you reach Highway 2A. Turn left onto highway 2A and follow the road south until you reach your first right hand turn. Turn right and follow that road to the airport.

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Vulcan

For a brief while during World War II, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Vulcan was home to No. 2 Flying Instructor School (FIS) and more permanently, No. 19 Service Flying Training School (SFTS). The site is now privately owned, but many of the BCATP hangars still exist. In terms of sheer size, the Vulcan aerodrome would be marvelous to visit as it was one of the “double” schools built under the Plan. To visit the site, travel east of Nanton on highway 533. Leave the highway when it turns to the north and continue directly east for an additional 9.5 km.

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