Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay (IATA: YYR, ICAO: CYYR), commonly referred to as CFB Goose Bay, is a Canadian Forces Base located in the municipality of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Its primary RCAF lodger unit is 5 Wing, commonly referred to as 5 Wing Goose Bay.
The airfield at CFB Goose Bay is also used by civilian aircraft, with civilian operations at the base referring to the facility as Goose Bay Airport. The airport is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). CBSA officers at this airport can handle general aviation aircraft only, with no more than 15 passengers.
The mission of 5 Wing is to support the defence of North American airspace, as well as to support the RCAF and allied air forces in training. 5 Wing comprises two units: 444 Combat Support Squadron (flying the CH-146 Griffon) and 5 Wing Air Reserve Flight. CFB Goose Bay also serves as a forward operating location for RCAF CF-18 Hornet aircraft and the base and surrounding area is occasionally used to support units of the Canadian Army during training exercises.
|CFB Goose Bay|
Goose Bay Airport;
CFB Goose Bay;
CFS Goose Bay;
Goose Air Base
|Goose Bay, Labrador in Canada|
CFB Goose Bay
Location in Newfoundland and Labrador
|Type||Military Air Base / Civilian Airport|
|Owner||Government of Canada|
|Operator|| Royal Canadian Air Force|
1941 - present
United States Air Force
1942 - 1976
|Civilian Operator||Goose Bay Airport Corporation|
|Built||1941 – 1943|
|Built by|| Royal Canadian Air Force|
United States Air Force
|In use||1941 – present|
|Lieutenant-Colonel Luc Sabourin, Wing Commander|
|Occupants||444 Combat Support Squadron |
1993 - Present
5 Wing Air Reserve Flight
|Identifiers||IATA: YYR, ICAO: CYYR, WMO: 71816|
|Elevation||160 ft (49 m) AMSL|
|Hosted deployments of units from:|
Royal Netherlands Air Force 1985–2005
While the flat and relatively weather-favoured area around North West River had for years been under consideration for an airport for the anticipated North Atlantic air routes, it was not until Eric Fry of the Dominion Geodetic Survey investigated the area on 1 July 1941 that the Goose Bay location was selected. Fry beat by three days a similar United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) survey team under Captain Elliott Roosevelt; the American team had first investigated nearby Epinette Point before joining Fry at the sandy plains that would become Goose Bay. These surveys used amphibious aircraft that landed at the Grenfell mission; from there the teams explored by boat.
Eric Fry recalled: "The airport is actually located on the plateau at the west end of Terrington Basin but it is only five miles inland from the narrows between Goose Bay and Terrington Basin. Having a Gander air base in Newfoundland I suggested we call the Labrador site Goose Bay airport and the suggestion was accepted."
Under pressure from Britain and the United States the Canadian Air Ministry worked at a record pace, and by November three 7,000-foot (2134 m) gravel runways were ready. The first land aircraft movement was recorded on 9 December 1941. By spring of 1942 the base, now carrying the wartime codename Alkali, was bursting with air traffic destined for the United Kingdom. In time, the USAAF and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) each developed sections of the triangular base for their own use, but the airport remained under overall Canadian control despite its location in the Dominion of Newfoundland, not yet a part of Canada. The 99-year lease arrangement with the United Kingdom was not finalized until October 1944.
In approximately 1942 the aerodrome was listed as RCAF Aerodrome - Goose Bay, Labrador at with a variation of 35 degrees west and elevation of 147 ft (45 m). The field was listed as "All hard-surfaced" and had three runways listed as follows:
|9/27||6,600 ft (2,000 m)||200 ft (61 m)||Hard Surfaced|
|17/35||6,000 ft (1,800 m)||200 ft (61 m)||Hard Surfaced|
|5/23||6,000 ft (1,800 m)||200 ft (61 m)||Hard Surfaced|
The northeast side of the facility was built to be a temporary RCAF base, complete with its own hangars and control tower, while the south side of the facility, built for the Americans, was being upgraded with its own aprons, hangars, earth-covered magazines, control tower and infrastructure. The Canadian and American bases were built as an RCAF station and later a United States Air Force base known as Goose AB, housing units of the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Defense Command. It was later home to permanent detachments of the RAF, Luftwaffe, Aeronautica Militare, and Royal Netherlands Air Force, in addition to temporary deployments from several other NATO countries.
Goose Air Base was the site of the first US nuclear weapons in Canada, when in 1950 the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command stationed 11 model 1561 Fat Man atomic bombs at the base in the summer, and flew them out in December. While returning to Davis–Monthan Air Force Base with one of the bombs on board, a USAF B-50 heavy bomber encountered engine trouble, had to drop, and conventionally detonate, the bomb over the St. Lawrence, contaminating the river with uranium-238.
Construction of Strategic Air Command's Weapons Storage Area at Goose Air Base was officially completed in 1954. The area was surrounded by two fences, topped with barbed wire. It was the highest security area in Goose Air Base and comprised
The design and layout of the Goose Air Base weapons storage area was identical, with only slight modifications for weather and terrain, to the three Strategic Air Command weapons storage areas in Morocco located at Sidi Slimane Air Base, Ben Guerir Air Base, and Nouasseur Air Base, which were constructed between 1951 and 1952 as overseas operational storage sites. The last nuclear bomb components that were being stored at the Goose Air Base weapons storage area were removed in June 1971.
Construction of the Air Defence Command ammunition storage area at Goose Air Base was completed in 1958. This extension to the Strategic Air Command weapons storage area was built directly beside the previously constructed area, with a separate entrance. The buildings built within the area were:
The storage was being built to accommodate components of the GAR-11/AIM-26 "Nuclear" Falcon, which is normally stored in pieces, requiring assembly before use.
The former U.S. facilities were redesignated CFB Goose Bay (the second time this facility name has been used). The value of the airfield and facilities built and improved by the USAF since 1953 and transferred to Canada were estimated in excess of $250 million (USD).. By 1976 all Strategic Air Command assets had been stood down, and only USAF logistical and transport support remained.
In response to lessons learned from the Vietnam War and the growing sophistication of Soviet anti-aircraft radar and surface-to-air missile technology being deployed in Europe, NATO allies began looking at new doctrines in the 1970s–1980s which mandated low-level flight to evade detection. CFB Goose Bay's location in Labrador, with a population of around 30,000 and area measuring 294,000 km2, made it an ideal location for low-level flight training. Labrador's sparse settlement and a local topography similar to parts of the Soviet Union, in addition to proximity to European NATO nations caused CFB Goose Bay to grow and become the primary low-level tactical training area for several NATO air forces during the 1980s.
The increased low-level flights by fighter aircraft was not without serious controversy as the Innu Nation protested these operations vociferously, claiming that the noise of aircraft travelling at supersonic speeds in close proximity to the ground ("nap of the earth flying") was adversely affecting wildlife, namely caribou, and was a nuisance to their way of life on their traditional lands.
During the 1980s–1990s, CFB Goose Bay hosted permanent detachments from the Royal Air Force, Luftwaffe, Royal Netherlands Air Force, and the Aeronautica Militare, in addition to temporary deployments from several other NATO countries. The permanent RNAF detachment left CFB Goose Bay in the 1990s, although temporary training postings have been held since. Goose Bay was an attractive training facility for these air forces in light of the high population concentration in their countries, as well as numerous laws preventing low-level flying. The thirteen-million-hectare (130,000 km²) bombing range is larger than several European countries.[Note 1]
In 1983, a NASA Boeing 747 transport aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle Enterprise landed at CFB Goose Bay to refuel on its way to a European tour where the prototype shuttle was then displayed in France and the United Kingdom. This was the first time that a U.S. Space Shuttle ever "landed" outside the United States.
To provide rescue and range support to the jet aircraft operating from Goose Bay, the Canadian Forces provided a Base Rescue Flight consisting of three CH-135 Twin Huey helicopters. In 1993 the Base Rescue Flight was re-badged as 444 Combat Support Squadron and continued to operate the same fleet of three helicopters. In 1996 the CH-135s were replaced with three CH-146 Griffon helicopters.
On 11 September 2001, CFB Goose Bay hosted seven trans-Atlantic commercial airliners which were diverted to land as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon, following the closure of North American airspace as a result of terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. It was also the first Canadian airport to receive diverted aircraft.
In 2004 the RAF announced its intent to close the permanent RAF detachment, effective 31 March 2005. The German and Italian air forces had agreements signed to use the base until 2006, however they were not renewed as of 2004. These air forces still operate at Goose Bay, but plan to initiate simulator training instead. The base continues in its role as a low-level tactical training facility and as a forward deployment location for Canadian Forces Air Command, although the total complement of Canadian Forces personnel numbers less than 100.
Labradorian politicians such as former Liberal Senator Bill Rompkey have advocated using CFB Goose Bay as a site for a missile defence radar system being developed by the United States Department of Defense. Executives from defence contractor Raytheon have surveyed CFB Goose Bay as a suitable location for deploying such a radar installation.
Civilian flights use a smaller terminal structure located on Zweibrucken Crescent. A new terminal structure was being built in 2012 to accommodate civilian use. The terminal has a single retail tenant, Flightline Café and Gifts with a Robin's Donuts shop.
An increasing number of airliners (especially mid-range aircraft like the Boeing 757) have resorted to using Goose Bay for unplanned fuel stops, especially common for trans-Atlantic flights impacted by a seasonally strong jet stream over the North Atlantic. The majority of civilian airliners using the airfield are not regularly scheduled airlines to this location.
|Air Borealis||Hopedale, Makkovik, Nain, Natuashish, Postville|
|Air Canada Express||Deer Lake, Gander, Halifax, St. John's, Wabush|
|PAL Airlines||Blanc-Sablon, Churchill Falls, Deer Lake, St. John's, Wabush|
Air Labrador was a tenant of the airport until the airline ceased operations in 2017 when it was merged with Innu Mikun Airlines as Air Borealis. It flew mainly from Goose Bay to remote communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec.
The principal components of CFB Goose Bay are :
The following fixed-base operators are based at CFB Goose Bay:
Hangar 8 at CFB Goose Bay was designated as a Canadian historic place in 2004.
444 Combat Support Squadron is an Air Force unit with the Canadian Forces. Based at CFB Goose Bay, it provides helicopter support to the base operations.Air Labrador
Labrador Airways Limited, operating as Air Labrador, was a regional airline based in Goose Bay (CFB Goose Bay), Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It operated scheduled daily passenger and freight services throughout Labrador and Quebec, as well as charter operations with the options of landing in remote and off strip destinations with skis, wheels and floats. Its main base was Goose Bay Airport, with a secondary hub at Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon Airport, Quebec. Its motto is "The Spirit of Flight" (French: "Esprit du vol").Big Bay Short Range Radar Site
Big Bay Short Range Radar Site (LAB-4) is a Royal Canadian Air Force Short Range Radar Site located on the coast of Labrador, 167 miles (269 km) north of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.CFS Resolution Island
CFS Resolution Island (BAF-5) is a short-range radar site. It is located 593 miles (954 km) north-northwest of CFB Goose Bay, Labrador. It is part of the North Warning System. During the Cold War, it was operated as part of the Pinetree Line network controlled by NORAD.CFS Saglek
Canadian Forces Station Saglek is a Canadian Forces Air Command radar base in the former Pinetree Line and currently part of the North Warning System, located near Saglek Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador. located 367.7 miles (591.8 km) north-northwest of CFB Goose Bay.Cape Makkovik Air Station
Cape Makkovik Air Station (ADC ID: N-28A) is a closed General Surveillance-Gap Filler Radar station. It is located 140 miles (230 km) north-northeast of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was closed in 1961.Cartwright Air Station
Cartwright Air Station (ADC ID: N-27) is a closed General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 145.2 miles (233.7 km) east-northeast of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. It was closed in 1968.Cut Throat Island Air Station
Cut Throat Island Air Station (ADC ID: N-27A) is a closed General Surveillance-Gap Filler radar station. It is located 160 miles (260 km) east-northeast of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. It was closed in 1961.Diversion airport
Diversion airports are airports capable of handling a particular ETOPS rated aircraft during an emergency landing and whose flying distance at the point of emergency shall not exceed the ETOPS diversion period for that aircraft.
Any airport designated as an en route diversion airport must have the facilities to safely support that particular aircraft, and weather conditions at the time of arrival must allow a safe landing with an engine and/or systems malfunctioning.An ETOPS/LROPS flight may be conducted solely if the diversion airports are available throughout the length of the flight. Unavailability due to bad weather, for example, might require an inflight rerouting.
Common diversion airports on Atlantic routes:
Bangor International Airport
CFB Goose Bay
Halifax Stanfield International Airport
Keflavík International Airport
Lajes Airport (Azores)
Santa Maria Airport (Azores)
Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport
Gran Canaria Airport (Las Palmas)
Amílcar Cabral International Airport (Sal Island, Cape Verde)
RAF Ascension Island
Fernando de Noronha Airport
Greater Natal International Airport
Fortaleza International Airport
Recife International Airport
Cayenne-Félix Eboué Airport
Pointe-à-Pitre International AirportCommon diversion airports on Pacific routes:
Henderson Field (Midway Atoll)
Mataveri International Airport (Easter Island)
Cassidy International Airport (Christmas Island, Kiribati)
Faa'a International Airport (Papeete, Tahiti)
Wake Island Airfield
Majuro International Airport
King Salmon Airport (Alaska)
Eareckson Air Station (Shemya, Aleutian Islands, Alaska)
Cold Bay Airport
Hilo International Airport
Kona International Airport
Rarotonga International Airport
Niue International Airport
Faleolo International Airport (Samoa)
Suva International Airport
Port Vila International Airport (Vanuatu)
Nouméa-La Tontouta International Airport
Pohnpei International Airport
Enewetak Auxiliary Airfield
Chuuk International Airport
Guam International Airport
Saipan International Airport
Vancouver International AirportCommon diversion airports on Arctic Polar routes:
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
Svalbard Airport (Longyearbyen)
Thule Air Base
Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport
Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport (Utqiagvik)
Pevek AirportCommon diversion airports on Indian Ocean routes:
Seychelles International Airport
Roland Garros Airport (Réunion)
Malé International Airport (Maldives)
Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport
RAAF LearmonthFox Harbour Air Station
Fox Harbour Air Station (ADC ID: N-27C) is a closed General Surveillance-Gap Filler radar station. It is located 210 miles (340 km) southeast of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. It was closed in 1961.Globecom Tower
Globecom Tower was a 378.25 m (1,240.98 ft) tall guyed mast for military longwave transmission at Northmountain on Thule Air Base on Greenland. Globecom Tower, whose design is similar to that of Forestport Tower, is a guyed lattice steel tower with a triangular cross section (sidelength: 4.75 metres), which is anchored in three levels. It is designed as a mast radiator insulated against the ground and equipped with an elevator running up to a height of 360 m (1,181.10 ft).
Globecom Tower was completed in 1954. It was, at completion, the tallest man-made structure outside of the United States and the third tallest in the world after KWTV Mast in Oklahoma City and Empire State Building. A great difficulty at its construction was that the ground on which it was built is permanently frozen.
Globecom Tower was used for transmitting military telex messages to CFB Goose Bay, Canada, on the longwave frequency 68.9 kHz with a power of 50 kW under the callsign XPH.
The tower, unused for years, was brought down with explosive charges set and detonated by US Army combat engineers in the spring of 1992.Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Inuit: Vâli) is a town in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Located in the central part of Labrador on the coast of Lake Melville and the Grand River, Happy Valley-Goose Bay is the largest population centre in that region. Incorporated in 1973, it comprises the former town of Happy Valley and the Local Improvement District of Goose Bay. Built on a large sandy plateau in 1941, the town is home to the largest military air base in northeastern North America, CFB Goose Bay.Hopedale Air Station
Hopedale Air Station (ADC ID: N-28) is a General Surveillance Radar station that the USAF closed in 1968. It is located north of the community of Hopedale, Newfoundland and Labrador 147.8 miles (237.9 km) west-northwest of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.List of historic places in Labrador
This article is a list of historic places in Labrador entered on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, whether they are federal, provincial, or municipal.Melville Air Station
Melville Air Station (ADC ID: N-24) is a closed General Surveillance Radar station. It is located on the summit of Dome Mountain, 5.4 miles (8.7 km) west of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. It was closed in 1988.PAL Airlines
PAL Airlines (formerly Provincial Airlines) is a regional airline with headquarters at St. John's International Airport in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. PAL operates scheduled passenger, cargo, air ambulance and charter services. PAL is the commercial airline arm of the PAL Group of Companies. In addition to its head office, it also has offices in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Halifax Stanfield International Airport) and Happy Valley-Goose Bay (CFB Goose Bay). PAL is the second largest regional airline operator in Eastern Canada next to Air Canada Express.Spotted Island Air Station
Spotted Island Air Station (ADC ID: N-27B) is a closed General Surveillance-Gap Filler radar station. It is located 195 miles (314 km) east of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. It was closed in 1961.Steve Lucas
Lieutenant-General James Steven Lucas, CMM, CD (born 24 February 1952) is a retired Canadian air force general who was Chief of the Air Staff in Canada from 2005 to 2007.Tukialik Short Range Radar Site
Tukialik Short Range Radar Site (LAB-5) is a Royal Canadian Air Force Short Range Radar Site located in eastern Labrador, 127 miles (204 km) northeast of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.