British Commonwealth Air Training Program

One of the first and most important contributions our country would make to the war (WWII) effort would be the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).

17 December 1939 – The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan agreement was signed in the opening months of the Second World War.

Under a deal signed in 1939, Canada agreed to provide facilities and training for airmen from every part of the Commonwealth. Canada was ideally suited for this program because our country was far from most of the active fighting and had lots of wide-open spaces and good flying conditions. 

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was one of Canada’s most significant contributions to the Allied efforts during the Second World War. This initiative would see more than 130,000 young airmen from the British Commonwealth and other Allied countries be trained in Canada. 

It was a huge undertaking and some 151 BCATP schools would operate in locations from coast to coast between 1940 and 1945.