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A Distinct Identity

In The Beginning

Stanley was built as RCAF Station Stanley in March 1941 to train pilots as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The airport was the base for the Royal Canadian Air Force's No. 17 Elementary Flying School which trained thousands of pilots for the Second World War. The school operated two dozen De Havilland Tiger Moth and Fleet Finch aircraft to train pilots along with a Link Trainer, an early flight simulator equipped with gauges to simulate a real aircraft. At its peak Stanley trained four 30-student classes simultaneously for six weeks of flight training before graduates passed on to advanced training at other bases. The station was closed in January 1944 as the war came to a close.


Post War

The Airport was taken over in 1968 by the Dartmouth Experimental Aircraft Association, which upgraded the runways and built some hangars. The association evolved into the Stanley Sport Aviation Association.​

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources used the airport's large World War II maintenance hangar after the war before turning it over to Stanley Sport Aviation. This distinctive wood hangar had a control tower at one corner and was once the largest building in Hants County. It was demolished in 2006 due to deterioration of the structure.

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