According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft". Runways may be a natural surface. In January 1919, aviation pioneer Orville Wright underlined the need for "distinctly marked and prepared landing places, the preparing of the surface of reasonably flat ground an expensive undertaking there would be a continuous expense for the upkeep." Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, the magnetic azimuth of the runway's heading in decadegrees. This heading differs from true north by the local magnetic declination. A runway numbered 09 points east, runway 18 is south, runway 27 points west and runway 36 points to the north; when taking off from or landing on runway 09, a plane is heading around 90°. A runway can be used in both directions, is named for each direction separately: e.g. "runway 15" in one direction is "runway 33" when used in the other. The two numbers differ by 18.
For clarity in radio communications, each digit in the runway name is pronounced individually: runway one-five, runway three-three, etc.. A leading zero, for example in "runway zero-six" or "runway zero-one-left", is included for all ICAO and some U. S. military airports. However, most U. S. civil aviation airports drop the leading zero. This includes some military airfields such as Cairns Army Airfield; this American anomaly may lead to inconsistencies in conversations between American pilots and controllers in other countries. It is common in a country such as Canada for a controller to clear an incoming American aircraft to, for example, runway 04, the pilot read back the clearance as runway 4. In flight simulation programs those of American origin might apply U. S. usage to airports around the world. For example, runway 05 at Halifax will appear on the program as the single digit 5 rather than 05. If there is more than one runway pointing in the same direction, each runway is identified by appending left and right to the number to identify its position — for example, runways one-five-left, one-five-center, one-five-right.
Runway zero-three-left becomes runway two-one-right. In some countries, regulations mandate that where parallel runways are too close to each other, only one may be used at a time under certain conditions. At large airports with four or more parallel runways some runway identifiers are shifted by 1 to avoid the ambiguity that would result with more than three parallel runways. For example, in Los Angeles, this system results in runways 6L, 6R, 7L, 7R though all four runways are parallel at 69°. At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, there are five parallel runways, named 17L, 17C, 17R, 18L, 18R, all oriented at a heading of 175.4°. An airport with only three parallel runways may use different runway identifiers, such as when a third parallel runway was opened at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in 2000 to the south of existing 8R/26L — rather than confusingly becoming the "new" 8R/26L it was instead designated 7R/25L, with the former 8R/26L becoming 7L/25R and 8L/26R becoming 8/26.
Runway designations may change over time because Earth's magnetic lines drift on the surface and the magnetic direction changes. Depending on the airport location and how much drift occurs, it may be necessary to change the runway designation; as runways are designated with headings rounded to the nearest 10°, this affects some runways sooner than others. For example, if the magnetic heading of a runway is 233°, it is designated Runway 23. If the magnetic heading changes downwards by 5 degrees to 228°, the runway remains Runway 23. If on the other hand the original magnetic heading was 226°, the heading decreased by only 2 degrees to 224°, the runway becomes Runway 22; because magnetic drift itself is slow, runway designation changes are uncommon, not welcomed, as they require an accompanying change in aeronautical charts and descriptive documents. When runway designations do change at major airports, it is changed at night as taxiway signs need to be changed and the huge numbers at each end of the runway need to be repainted to the new runway designators.
In July 2009 for example, London Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom changed its runway designations from 05/23 to 04/22 during the night. For fixed-wing aircraft it is advantageous to perform takeoffs and landings into the wind to reduce takeoff or landing roll and reduce the ground speed needed to attain flying speed. Larger airports have several runways in different directions, so that one can be selected, most nearly aligned with the wind. Airports with one runway are constructed to be aligned with the prevailing wind. Compiling a wind rose is in fact one of the preliminary steps taken in constructing airport runways. Note that wind direction is given as the direction the wind is coming from: a plane taking off from runway 09 faces east, into an "east wind" blowing from 090°. Runway dimensions vary from as small as 245 m long and 8 m wide in s
Royal Canadian Air Force
The Royal Canadian Air Force is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant and effective airpower"; the RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff; the Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command; the RCAF provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.
The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force, formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V to form the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command, Air Transport Command, Mobile Command, Maritime Command, as well as Training Command. In 1975, some commands were dissolved, all air units were placed under a new environmental command called Air Command. Air Command reverted to its historic name of "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011; the Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century; the Canadian Air Force was established in 1920 as the successor to a short-lived two-squadron Canadian Air Force, formed during the First World War in Europe.
John Scott Williams, MC, AFC, was tasked in 1921 with organizing the CAF, handing command over the same year to Air Marshal Lindsay Gordon. The new Canadian Air Force was a branch of the Air Board and was chiefly a training militia that provided refresher training to veteran pilots. Many CAF members worked with the Air Board's Civil Operations Branch on operations that included forestry and anti-smuggling patrols. In 1923, the CAF became responsible including civil aviation. In 1924, the Canadian Air Force, was granted the royal title. Most of its work was civil in nature. After budget cuts in the early 1930s, the air force began to rebuild. During the Second World War, the RCAF was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was involved in operations in Great Britain, the north Atlantic, North Africa, southern Asia, with home defence. By the end of the war, the RCAF had become the fourth largest allied air force. During WWII the Royal Canadian Air Force were headquartered in London.
A commemorative plaque can be found on the outside of the building. After the war, the RCAF reduced its strength; because of the rising Soviet threat to the security of Europe, Canada joined NATO in 1949, the RCAF established No. 1 Air Division RCAF consisting of four wings with three fighter squadrons each, based in France and West Germany. In 1950, the RCAF became involved with the transport of supplies to the Korean War. Members of the RCAF served in USAF units as several flew in combat. Both auxiliary and regular air defence squadrons were run by Air Defence Command. At the same time, the Pinetree Line, the Mid-Canada Line and the DEW Line radar stations operated by the RCAF, were built across Canada because of the growing Soviet nuclear threat. In 1957, Canada and the United States created the joint North American Air Defense Command. Coastal defence and peacekeeping became priorities during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1968, the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army were amalgamated to form the unified Canadian Forces.
This initiative was overseen by Liberal Defence Minister, Paul Hellyer. The controversial merger maintained several existing organizations and created some new ones: In Europe, No. 1 Air Division, operated Canadair CF-104 Starfighter nuclear strike/attack and reconnaissance under NATO's 4 ATAF. Aviation assets of the Royal Canadian Navy were combined with the RCAF Canadair CP-107 Argus long-range patrol aircraft under Maritime Command. In 1975, the different commands, the scattered aviation assets, were consolidated under Air Command. In the early 1990s, Canada provided a detachment of CF-18 Hornets for the air defence mission in Operation Desert Shield; the force performed combat air patrols over operations in Kuwait and Iraq, undertook a number of air-to-ground bombing missions, and, on one occasion, attacked an Iraqi patrol boat in the Persian Gulf. In the late 1
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, or Empire Air Training Scheme referred to as "The Plan", was a massive, joint military aircrew training program created by the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, during the Second World War. BCATP remains as one of the single largest aviation training programs in history and was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, bomb aimers, air gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers who served with the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force during the war. Under a parallel agreement, the Joint Air Training Scheme, South Africa trained 33,347 aircrew for the South African Air Force and other Allied air forces; this number was exceeded only by Canada. Students from many other countries attended schools under these plans, including Argentina, Ceylon, Denmark, Fiji, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States, where the similar Civilian Pilot Training Program was underway by the end of 1938.
The United Kingdom was considered an unsuitable location for air training, due to the possibility of enemy attack, the strain caused by wartime traffic at airfields and the unpredictable weather, so the plan called for the facilities in the Dominions to train British and each other's aircrews. Negotiations regarding joint training, between the four governments concerned, took place in Ottawa during the first few months of the war. On 17 December 1939, they signed the Air Training Agreement – referred to as the "Riverdale Agreement", after the UK representative at the negotiations, Lord Riverdale; the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was viewed as an ambitious programme. The 1939 agreement stated that the training was to be similar to that of the RAF: three initial training schools, thirteen elementary flying training schools, sixteen service flying training schools, ten air observer schools, ten bombing and gunnery schools, two air navigation schools and four wireless schools were to be created.
The agreement called for the training of nearly 50,000 aircrew each year, for as long as necessary: 22,000 aircrew from Great Britain, 13,000 from Canada, 11,000 from Australia and 3,300 from New Zealand. Under the agreement, air crews received elementary training in various Commonwealth countries before travelling to Canada for advanced courses. Training costs were to be divided between the four governments. Article XV of the agreement stipulated that graduates belonging to Dominion air forces, where they were assigned to service with the RAF, should be placed in new squadrons identified with the RAAF, RCAF and RNZAF; these units became known as "Article XV squadrons". Articles XVI and XVII stipulated that the UK government would be wholly responsible for the pay and entitlements of graduates, once they were placed with RAF or Article XV units; some pre-war/regular RAAF and RCAF squadrons served under RAF operational control, while New Zealand and Rhodesian personnel were assigned to RAF squadrons with the honorifics of "" and "" in their names.
However, in practice – and technically in contravention of Article XV – most personnel from other Commonwealth countries, while they were under RAF operational control, were assigned to British units. On 29 April 1940, the first Canadian training course commenced, with 221 recruits, at No. 1 Initial Training School RCAF, located at the Eglinton Hunt Club, Toronto. From this intake, 39 received their wings as aircrew on 30 September 1940. All of these graduates, were retained by the BCATP in Canada, as instructors, staff pilots or in similar flying assignments; the first BCATP personnel sent to the UK were 37 Canadian observers, who received their wings at RCAF Trenton, near Trenton, Ontario, on 27 October 1940. The first BCATP-trained pilots posted to Europe as a group were 37 RAAF personnel who graduated in November 1941, from No. 2 Service Flying Training School, RCAF Uplands, Ottawa. Prior to the inception of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the RAAF trained only about 50 pilots per year. Under the Air Training Agreement, Australia undertook to provide 28,000 aircrew over three years, representing 36% of the total number trained by the BCATP.
By 1945, more than 37,500 Australian aircrew had been trained in Australia. During 1940, Royal Australian Air Force schools were established across Australia to support EATS in Initial Training, Elementary Flying Training, Service Flying Training, Air Navigation, Air Observer and Gunnery and Wireless Air Gunnery; the first flying course started on 29 April 1940. Keith Chisholm was the first Australian to be trained under EATS. For a period, most RAAF aircrews received advanced training in Canada. During mid-1940, some RAAF trainees began to receive advanced training at RAF facilities in Southern Rhodesia. On 14 November 1940, the first contingent to graduate from advanced training in Canada embarked for Britain, Following the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941, the majority of RAAF aircrews completed their training in Australia and served with RAAF units in the South West Pacific Theatre. In addition, an increasing number of Australian personnel were transferred from Europe and the Mediterranean to RAF squadrons in the South East Asian Theatre.
Some Article XV squadrons were transferred to RAAF or RAF formations involved in the Pacific War. A significa