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CFB Comox Airport

Canadian Forces Base Comox (IATA: YQQ, ICAO: CYQQ), commonly referred to as CFB Comox or 19 Wing is a Canadian Forces Base located 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km; 2.9 mi) north northeast of Comox, British Columbia. It is primarily operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and is one of two bases in the country using the CP-140 Aurora anti-submarine/maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft. Its primary RCAF lodger unit is 19 Wing, commonly referred to as 19 Wing Comox.

CFB Comox's airfield is also used by civilian aircraft. The civilian passenger terminal building operations are called the Comox Valley Airport and are operated by the Comox Valley Airport Commission.

The airport is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

CFB Comox
Comox Airport

CFB Comox Airport

  • WMO: 71893
Airport type Military
Owner Government of Canada
Operator DND/Comox Valley Airport Commission
Location Comox, British Columbia
Commander Colonel Mike Atkins, CD
Time zone PST (UTC-08:00)
Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-07:00)
Elevation AMSL 84 ft / 26 m
Coordinates 49°42′39″N
Website CFB 19 Wing Comox

CFB Comox Airport

Location in British Columbia

Direction Length Surface
ft m
Number Length Surface
ft m
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft movements 20,244
Source: Canada Flight Supplement Environment Canada Movements from Statistics Canada. and Transport Canada A Airport terminal only

CFB Comox Airport
CFB Comox Airport.

Front of the airport terminal building at CFB Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.


Military air base operations

The Royal Air Force (RAF) constructed the airfield at the strategic location of Comox in spring 1942. RAF Station Comox was built to guard against any possible Japanese threat to North America.

In 1943, the RCAF took over control of the airfield, renaming the facility RCAF Station Comox. The RCAF used Comox for training crews of transport aircraft for the rest of World War II, basing a training squadron flying the Douglas Dakota in 1944.

From 1946 until 1952 the base was mothballed until tensions resulting from the Korean War and Cold War prompted reactivation and the establishment of a permanent RCAF base on Canada's Pacific coast.

No. 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron initially used the Avro Lancaster then Lockheed P2V Neptune, followed by the Canadair CP-107 Argus and now the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora.

No. 409 All Weather Fighter Interceptor Squadron was equipped with the Canadair CT-33 Silver Star and Avro CF-100 Canuck, followed by the McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo, an example of which can be found on display at the main entrance of 19 Wing.

In 1954, Comox became home to a Pinetree Line radar early-warning station, operated by the 51 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (radar). This facility was closed in June 1958 with the advent of more advanced radar systems such as the Mid-Canada Line and the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line).

In 1964, RCAF Station Sea Island near Vancouver International Airport was closed and turned over to the Canadian Coast Guard. Sea Island's 121 Composite Unit moved to Comox and was reorganized as 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, flying the Grumman HU-16 Albatross fixed-wing and Piasecki H-21 helicopter, later re-equipping with the CH-113 Labrador and CC-115 Buffalo.

The Labrador helicopter was replaced with the AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant starting in 2001.

On February 1, 1968, the RCAF merged with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Canadian Army to form the unified Canadian Forces. RCAF Station Comox was renamed Canadian Forces Base Comox, shortened to CFB Comox. During a 1975 reorganization of the Canadian Forces, Air Command (AIRCOM) was created to operate the air element.

After CFB Comox began sharing the airport with scheduled airlines and other civilian aircraft, a Boeing 747 flown by Northwest Airlines became the first jumbo jet to operate into the field when it made an emergency landing there on June 5, 1979. The flight, chartered by the U.S. military to transport 368 active duty personnel and their families from Travis Air Force Base to Japan and South Korea, was over Cape Scott following an intermediate stop at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when fire broke out in one of the aircraft's engines. Efforts to extinguish the flames were unsuccessful; the crew declared an emergency and requested permission to land on the 10,000-foot (3,048 m) runway at CFB Comox.

Though no flames were visible, the fire warning light was still flashing in the cockpit as the plane landed. There were no injuries to the passengers or to the 13 crew members. Base officials, practiced at hosting large numbers of Canadian Forces personnel, ensured that the plane's occupants were comfortable while awaiting a new aircraft to carry them to their destinations.

In 1980, 407 Squadron began re-equipping with the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora.

In 1984, 409 Squadron moved from CFB Comox to CFB Cold Lake leaving the base with the duties of coastal patrol, anti-submarine and transport missions, and search and rescue (SAR) missions.

In 1989, a strike force of United States Air Force KC-135E tankers from the Washington Air National Guard deployed to CFB Comox as part of the annual Global Shield Exercise. The deployment, which included vehicles, equipment and armed personnel arriving by landing craft at a local beach, prompting some locals to ask whether the United States was invading Canada.

Commercial airline service

During the late 1950s, Pacific Western Airlines was serving the airfield with nonstop and one stop direct flights to Vancouver operated with Douglas DC-3 aircraft with the one stop service being flown via Campbell River, British Columbia. By the early 1960s, the airline had expanded their DC-3 service with nonstop flights to Port Hardy as well. Pacific Western then introduced turboprop service with the Convair 640 (which the airline called the "Javelin Jet-Prop") and was continuing to operate nonstop flights to Vancouver, Port Hardy and Campbell River during the late 1960s. The airline then began operating jet service into the airfield with the Boeing 737-200 and in 1975 was operating two nonstop 737 flights a day to Vancouver.

CFB Comox Airport
CFB Comox Airport.

Pacific Western would continue to serve Comox with Boeing 737-200 jet flights through the mid 1980s by which time the air carrier had become an all-jet airline.

By 1995, the airfield no longer had jet service with flights to Vancouver being operated by either Air BC flying Air Canada Connector code share service with de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 turboprops or by Time Air operating Canadian Airlines Partner code share service with Dash 8 and Short 360 turboprops.According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), Air BC and Time Air were operating a combined total of ten round trip nonstop flights on weekdays between Comox and Vancouver at this time.

Current use

Military use

CFB Comox is the primary air defence installation on Canada's Pacific coast and serves as the home base for maritime patrol/anti-submarine aircraft and fixed-wing and rotary-wing search and rescue (SAR) aircraft. Its primary lodger unit, 19 Wing, has two operational squadrons:
  • 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron flying the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora
  • 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron flying the CC-115 Buffalo fixed-wing and AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant rotary-wing aircraft

19 Wing also includes the 19 Air Maintenance Squadron, and a number of other organizations.

CFB Comox is the location of the Canadian Forces School of Search and Rescue, where all para-rescue specialists in the Canadian Forces, known as Search And Rescue Technicians or "SAR Techs", undergo training.

CFB Comox serves as a forward operating base for temporary deployments of the McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet fighter-interceptor.

Every April, the Snowbirds practise at 19 Wing Comox.

CFB Comox is used by the Royal Canadian Air Cadets for glider and powered flight training, training glider pilots on Schweizer SGS 2-33As and housing the cadets training on Cessna 172s respectively in the summer months. An annex of CFB Comox, Annex A "Goose Spit", is used by the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets for CSTC HMCS Quadra where 600 sea cadets undergo training in the basic trades of gunnery, boatswain, music and sail. It also trains cadets in three specialty trades marine engineering, shipwright, and silver sail. The annex is also host to the local Canadian Forces Sail Association.

Civilian use

CFB Comox shares the airfield with a civilian terminal for commercial flights destined to Vancouver, Calgary, Campbell River, Edmonton and Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) as well as regional destinations in British Columbia.

The base hosts a biennial airshow (although not held from 2005 to 2012) to celebrate Canadian Forces Day. The base is also home to the Comox Air Force Museum which features several aircraft and other historical exhibits. The base is a primary employer in the Comox Valley.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Express Vancouver Seasonal: Calgary
Canadian North Charter: Calgary, Fort McMurray, Vancouver
Pacific Coastal Airlines Bella Bella, Campbell River, Vancouver
WestJet Calgary, Edmonton Seasonal: Puerto Vallarta
WestJet Encore Calgary, Vancouver Seasonal: Edmonton

The above content comes from Wikipedia and is published under free licenses – click here to read more.

General Info
Country Canada
Time UTC-8(-7DT)
Latitude 49.710833
49° 42' 39.00" N
Longitude -124.886667
124° 53' 12.00" W
Elevation 84 feet
26 meters
Type Military
Magnetic Variation 019° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Operating Agency MILITARY
Operating Hours 24 HOUR OPERATIONS
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry
Daylight Saving Time Second Sunday in March at 0200 to first Sunday in November at 0200 local time (Exception Arizona and that portion of Indiana in the Eastern Time Zone)

TWR 126.2
Opr 1330-0530Z++.
PMSV 344.6
MIL OPS 135.9
(135.9 363.0 SNAKE OPS) (308.6 DEMON OPS) (278.4 KNIGHT OPS) (316.5 BASE OPS)
GND 119.75
DEP 123.7
ATIS 118.6
ARR 128.1
TRML 134.1
Communications Remarks
APP (Opr svc only C250-339-8115)

Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
12/30 10000 x 200 feet
3048 x 61 meters
18/36 5000 x 200 feet
1524 x 61 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
TACAN UQQ COMOX 041X - At Field -
NDB QQ COMOX - 400 3.8 NM 132.9

Fuel JP-4, Wide cut turbine fuel MIL Spec T-5624
Other Fluids LHOX, Low and high pressure oxygen servicing

LOX, Liquid oxygen servicing
AC 115/200v, 140kva, 400 hz, 3 phase

AC 115/200v, 60kva, 400 hz, 3 phase

DC 22-35v, 500 amp continuous 1100 amp intermittent

DC 22-35v, 500 amp continuous 1100 amp intermittent soft start

AC 120/208v, 60kva, 400 hz, 3 phase DC 28v, 75 amp AIR 112.5 lb/min, 47psig

8,000 cu in cap, 4000psig, 15cfm

JASU 1(CE12) 1(CE13) 1(CE15) 1(CE16) 1(CA2) 1(CEA1) 1(MC11)
LGT PAPI Rwy 12-30 lgt unit for acft with eye-to-wheel hgt up to 25'. Non-std apch lgt Rwy 12-30.
RSTD No space avbl on civ ramp for over ngt prk. Twy E unuse dur daylt. PPR DSN 252-8288.
TFC PAT Rgt tfc Rwy 30 and 36.
TRAN ALERT All tran acft PPR thru 19 Wg OPS, DSN 252-8288/8223 or C250-339-8288/8223. Tran svcg 1500-0600Z++ Mon-Fri,exc hol; OT PN.

The content above was published at in 2018.
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