Trans Canada Airway

The Trans Canada Airway was originally conceived in 1920 by the Canadian Air Board as a development of the coast to coast flight successfully completed that same year.
The infrastructure of the airfields and navigation aids necessary were non-existent at that time and it was not until 1928 that the Civil Aviation branch of the Department of National Defense decided to survey possible routes for the construction of the proposed airway.

TCA Front Cover TCA Back Cover

In October 1932 Prime Minister Bennett approved a proposal to use workers from the Unemployment Relief Scheme to construct airfields along the airway, and a workforce of over 2000 men began to clear and construct airfields every fifty miles between Lethbridge, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia.
By mid 1936 the Department of Transport had been created and assumed control of civil aviation in Canada. The airfields at this time were largely completed resulting in the Relief Scheme projects being phased out.
In 1936 the Department of Transport began the development of a radio range airway along the route with the first station completed at Vancouver in 1937 and the entire airway by 1939.
The construction of a chain of airfields along the route together with a system of radio range navigational aids across southern British Columbia could not have been timelier. With the advent of war in 1939 came a significant increase in the amount of air traffic across the Rocky Mountains from the coast to the prairies.
In the post war years aircraft sophistication resulted in the intermediate airfields receiving little use and many were abandoned. but even seventy years after the depression it is possible to find evidence of their existence.

At over 400 pages long, it includes over 375 pictures, maps and illustrations.

Trans Canada Airway
Air Pilot Navigator (Volume Four)
Chris Weicht. Creekside Publications. (2007)