CFB Trenton

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Canadian Forces Base Trenton

8 Wing Trenton
CFB Trenton.JPG
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerGovernment of Canada
LocationQuinte West, Ontario
Time zoneEST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL283 ft / 86 m
Coordinates44°07′08″N 077°31′41″W / 44.11889°N 77.52806°W / 44.11889; -77.52806Coordinates: 44°07′08″N 077°31′41″W / 44.11889°N 77.52806°W / 44.11889; -77.52806
CYTR is located in Ontario
Location in Ontario
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 10,000 3,048 Asphalt

Canadian Forces Base Trenton (IATA: YTR, ICAO: CYTR) (also CFB Trenton), formerly RCAF Station Trenton, is a Canadian Forces base located within the city of Quinte West, Ontario. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and is the hub for air transport operations in Canada and abroad. Its primary RCAF lodger unit is 8 Wing, commonly referred to as 8 Wing Trenton. CFB Trenton is Canada's largest Air Force base.

The airport is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. The use of the airport for civilian aircraft is permitted for emergencies or MEDEVACs only and the CBSA officers can only handle general aviation aircraft with up to 15 passengers.[1]


Aerial view of RCAF Station Trenton, June 1936

1929–1939 Prewar

In 1929, 960 acres (390 ha) of farmland near Trenton were purchased by the federal government to establish a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) station to be called RCAF Station Trenton. The base was officially opened in August 1931. Lord Bessborough, the Governor General in 1931, laid the commemorative cornerstone of the airbase, which had the motto, "Per Ardua ad Rem," or "Through Adversity to the Good" . This motto was the long-standing unspoken motto of the airmen of CFB Trenton.[3] Trenton was intended as a smaller supporting base to RCAF Station Borden, which was the home of Canadian military aviation and a major training base at the time. By June 1937 it had replaced Camp Borden as the primary flying training centre; the older station was given over increasingly to technical and trades training.[4] The location was chosen for being the midpoint between Ottawa and Toronto. It also provided the possibility of using the facility for seaplanes operating on Lake Ontario.

1939–1945 World War II

No. 1 Fighter and No. 3 Army Cooperation Flights, flying Siskin and Tiger Moth aircraft, were the first air elements to be hosted at Trenton. Trenton was the largest training centre of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) during the Second World War.[5] Schools included the RCAF Central Flying School, No. 1 Air Navigation School (to 1942), No. 1 Flying Instructor School, and No. 1 Composite Training School.[6] Along with the training schools, the No. 6 Repair Depot was based at Trenton. During the war the relief landing field for Trenton was located at Mohawk.

Historical aerodrome information

In approximately 1942 the aerodrome was listed as RCAF Aerodrome - Trenton, Ontario at 44°07′N 77°32′W / 44.117°N 77.533°W / 44.117; -77.533 with a variation of 12 degrees west and elevation of 240 ft (73 m). The field was listed as "All hard surfaced" and detailed four runways as follows:[7]

Runway Name Length Width Surface
1/19 3,000 ft (910 m) 150 ft (46 m) Hard Surfaced
5/23 3,600 ft (1,100 m) 150 ft (46 m) Hard Surfaced
14/32 3,050 ft (930 m) 150 ft (46 m) Hard Surfaced
9/27 4,200 ft (1,300 m) 150 ft (46 m) Hard Surfaced

1945–1990 Cold War

Following the war, Trenton became home to transport and fighter aircraft, with transport aircraft from the base taking part in the Korean Airlift, as well as numerous other missions throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

On February 2, 1959, RCAF Station Trenton became the destination for CF-105 Arrow 25204, flying from the Avro Canada manufacturing facility at Malton Airport. A Trans-Canada Air Lines Vickers Viscount had crash landed during 25204's flight, temporarily closing the runways at Malton.[8]

Canada upgraded its transport and search and rescue fleets during the 1960s when the RCAF purchased the CC-137 Husky, CC-130 Hercules, CH-113 Labrador and CC-115 Buffalo aircraft. RCAF Station Trenton became the home of training facilities for these aircraft.

RCAF Station Trenton was renamed Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton after the February 1, 1968 merger of the RCAF with the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Army to form the Canadian Forces.

21st century

Arrest and conviction of former base commander

CFB Trenton's former commander, David Russell Williams, was arrested in 2009, and convicted of serial rape and murder in 2010; some of his crimes were committed while in command of the base.[9][10]

Use as a quarantine facility for COVID-19

Due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by SARS-CoV-2 that originated in Wuhan, China, on February 7, 2020, 215 Canadians (176 from the first plane, and 39 from a second plane chartered by the U.S. government) were repatriated from Wuhan, and brought to CFB Trenton to be quarantined for two weeks.[11][12][13] On February 11, another plane of repatriated Canadians (185) from Wuhan landed at CFB Trenton.[14] On February 21, a chartered flight of 131 Canadians who were quarantined on the Diamond Princess after an outbreak on the cruise ship in Japan, and who all tested negative for the virus, were brought to CFB Trenton for additional screening before being transported by bus to NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario to be quarantined.[15] On March 10, a chartered flight of 228 Canadians who were on the Grand Princess after an outbreak on the cruise ship in California, and who all did not test positive for the virus, were brought to CFB Trenton for a 14-day quarantine period.[16] As of March 20, 12 positive cases for the virus of the repatriated citizens at CFB Trenton have been reported.[17]


Heritage buildings

CFB Trenton has several recognized and classified Federal Heritage buildings on the Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings.[18]

  • Administration Building 29 Recognized – 1995
  • Hangars 3 Buildings 51; 5 Building 49 Recognized – 1991
  • Hangars 9 B112; 10 B52 Recognized – 2004
  • Hastings Hall / Officer's Quarters, Building 111 Recognized – 1995
  • Headquarters Buildings 22 & 23 Recognized – 1995
  • Junior Quarters, Buildings 21 & 56 Recognized – 1995
  • Officer's Mess Building 38 Recognized – 1995
  • VIP Private Married Quarters Building 42 Recognized – 1995


The recapitalization of the northeast ramp was completed in summer 2008, and reconstruction of the southeast ramp was completed in the summer of 2009.[19]

Construction of a new air traffic control tower was completed in July 2010.[20]

The Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre is housed in a new building named after Air Marshal Clare Annis. Leed Gold Standard certification is underway from the Canada Green Building Council.[21]

A new Material Distribution Centre opened on November 2, 2010. The $2.4-million project is an amalgamation and co-location of the Wing's Central Material Traffic Terminal of 2 Air Movement Squadron (2 Air Mov Sqn) with the material distribution centre of 8 Wing Supply.[22]


A 17,500 m2 (188,400 sq ft) Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) and transportation garage valued at $75 million is being built.[23][needs update] The garage has still not yet been built to this day.

The Air Mobility Training Centre project will see the construction of a 17,000 m2 (183,000 sq ft) facility that will house the equipment and personnel required to train operators and maintainers of the CC-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Building construction will be completed in 2011 and operations will begin in 2012.[23][24] The building is now located on the south side of the base across the highway from the runway.

The base could host seven CH-149 Cormorant Search And Rescue helicopters if Canada goes though with increasing the CH-149 fleet from 14 to 21 helicopters.[25]

Special operations unit JTF2 is in the process of relocating to CFB Trenton and is expected to have facilities there by 2019.[citation needed]

Present operations

Royal Military College of Canada cadets attend unveiling of Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, CFB Trenton, Trenton, Ontario 10 Nov 2012

The RCAF operates the majority of its fixed-wing tactical airlift and all of its strategic airlift aircraft from CFB Trenton.

CFB Trenton plays a key support role for the National Search and Rescue Program, being home to Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton (JRCC Trenton) which is jointly staffed by the RCAF and Canadian Coast Guard personnel who have responsibility for coordinating aircraft and marine rescue incidents in central and Arctic Canada. The RCAF also operates the Canadian Mission Control Centre (CMCC) from the base, which is tasked with monitoring the Cospas-Sarsat system that detects transmissions from emergency locating beacons on aircraft or marine vessels in distress through Canada's search and rescue area of responsibility.

The Canadian Army also operates the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre, formerly known as the Canadian Parachute Centre.

8 Wing operates several aircraft types, including CC-130 Hercules, CC-150 Polaris and CC-177 Globemaster III transport aircraft, the CH-146 Griffon search and rescue helicopters, and the CC-144 Challenger VIP transport aircraft. The Challenger fleet, used to fly the Governor General, members of the Royal Family (when visiting Canada), the Prime Minister and members of the federal cabinet, is based at Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport but supported from CFB Trenton.

Current squadrons under 8 Wing include:

Temporary storage facilities were built at the base for the CC-177 Globemaster III. Permanent hangars (Hangar 2 and 6) were built from 2012 to 2017.

CFB Trenton is also home to lodger units independent from 8 Wing including Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) and The Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre (CFAWC). ATESS provides specialized engineering, training, and production/manufacturing in aerospace and telecommunications. Its capabilities encompass avionics, non-destructive testing (NDT), integrated health monitoring (IHM/HUMS), aircraft structures and more.[26] CFAWC is the centre of excellence for air power development, including Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E) and lessons learned. In addition, CFAWC develops and maintains the Air Force air power knowledge repository and coordinates efforts to provide advanced synthetic environment and modelling and simulation services to assist CD&E, requirements definition, operational test and evaluation (OT&E) and mission rehearsal. The CFAWC is commanded by an RCAF Colonel.[27]

The current commander of the base is Colonel Ryan Deming, who assumed his post July 26, 2019.[28]

Quinte International Air Show

In 2016, the former base commander, Colonel Colin Keiver and Chief Warrant Officer Darcy Elder, had recreated the Quinte International Air Show which had not been held since 2003. There had been plans for the air show to be held biennially. There had been no air show in 2018. Mark Goulden, the commander at the time of the cancellation, stated "Operations at 8 Wing Trenton is our priority, whether it be helping Canadians during disasters such as the British Columbia wildfires, delivering humanitarian aid internationally, or supplying Canadian Armed Forces missions around the world. It is with these operational commitments in mind that 8 Wing Trenton has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2018 Quinte International Air Show."[29]

Quinte International Air Show 2016

The 2016 air show attracted close to 80,000 visitors.[30] The theme for that year was the commemoration of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) with it being the 75th Anniversary since the BCATP had commenced.[31] Aircraft from multiple Air Forces around the world attended including the United States Air Force, Royal Air Force and Mexican Air Force.[32]

Some of the aircraft performing at the air show included:

Other operations

Economic impact on Trenton community

CFB Trenton, based on statistical data from the Fiscal Year 2004–2005, had an annual population impact (Regular Force members & dependants) of 8,185. The airbase also had an estimated local spending impact (direct and indirect) of $278,195,000 for that Fiscal Year. The airbase also directly employed 3,163 people and indirectly employed 437 people.[34]

See also


  1. ^ a b Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 5 December 2019 to 0901Z 30 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Synoptic/Metstat Station Information". Archived from the original on 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  3. ^ "8 Wing History". Royal Canadian Air Force. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  4. ^ Millberry, Larry (1984). Sixty Years: The RCAF and CF Air Command. Toronto, ON: CANAV Books. p. 44.
  5. ^ Hatch, F.J. Aerodrome of Democracy: Canada and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan 1939–1945. Ottawa: Canadian Department of National Defence, 1983. ISBN 0-660-11443-7. p. 116. Retrieved 2014-07-15
  6. ^ "British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Schools – Canada". Archived from the original on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
  7. ^ Staff Writer c.1942, p. 170
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-09-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "DNA tests on Russell Williams murder victim took 10 weeks". Toronto Star, By Sandro Contenta and Jim Rankin, May 16, 2015
  10. ^ "Serial killer Russell Williams will keep his military pension—for now". McLean's Magazine, Michael Friscolanti, November 3, 2014
  11. ^ "CFB Trenton prepares quarantine, treatment for Canada's coronavirus evacuees". February 6, 2020.
  12. ^ "'Happy to be back': Flight carrying Canadians from Wuhan lands in Ontario". 7 February 2020.
  13. ^ "'Worst is behind us': Flights carrying Canadians from Wuhan land in Ontario". February 7, 2020.
  14. ^ "Second Canadian evacuation plane from China lands in Ontario". February 11, 2020.
  15. ^ "Canadian cruise ship passengers arrive in Cornwall, Ont., to begin quarantine". February 21, 2020.
  16. ^ "Infected Canadian crew on COVID-19 cruise ship remain onboard, 228 passengers repatriated". March 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "Victoria Grand Princess passenger says 12 diagnosed with COVID-19 in quarantine". March 20, 2020.
  18. ^[permanent dead link] Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings.
  19. ^ "Trenton Infrastructure". Canada News Centre. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  20. ^ "New air traffic control tower opens at CFB Trenton". Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  21. ^ Isabelle, Major (2010-10-07). "More than a building dedication:... | Air Force Articles | News and Events – Air Force News | Air Force | DND/CF". Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  22. ^ "$2.4M distribution centre opens – Trenton Trentonian – Ontario, CA". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  23. ^ a b Government of Canada – Canada News Centre – "Trenton Infrastructure backgrounder" 11 September 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-20
  24. ^ "New Air Mobility Training Centre to support CC130J operations" by Tom Phil. 10 December 2009
  25. ^ Thatcher, Chris. "Canada urged to acquire attack helicopters".
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2017-08-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Government of Canada, National Defence (April 30, 2013). "Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre | Royal Canadian Air Force".
  28. ^ "Col. Ryan Deming sworn in as new 8 Wing commander of CFB Trenton". Global News.
  29. ^ "Quinte International Airshow At CFB Trenton Cancelled For 2018". AirshowStuff. 2017-11-26. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  30. ^ Lees, Ross. "Quinte International Air Show attendance soars". Country Live. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Quinte International Air Show". Quinte Life. Quinte Life. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  32. ^ "2016 Quinte International Air Show". The Aviation Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  33. ^ "Fire in the hole: Whitby man finds Second World War mortar bomb in lakefront park" (print version headline: "Whitby man finds Second World War bomb under park". Toronto Star, August 26, 2013. by Christopher Reynolds.
  34. ^ "DND/CF Economic Impact: 8 Wing/CFB Trenton". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Archived from the original on 2011-12-05. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  • UNCLAS CANAIRGEN 025/06 (Canadian Air Force General Order)
  • Staff writer (c. 1942). Pilots Handbook of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases Vol. 1. Royal Canadian Air Force.

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