Visitors to the Boundary Bay Airport can now learn more about the facility’s history thanks to a new interactive exhibit.
Dubbed “The Station,” the exhibit consists of a 55-inch digital screen featuring timelines, stories and photographs from the Royal Canadian Air Force station that operated at Boundary Bay Airport between 1941 and 1945.
The exhibit, built in partnership with the City of Delta and airport operator Alpha Aviation Inc., was officially unveiled in the airport’s terminal on Wednesday, July 17 in advance of this year’s Boundary Bay Airshow.
“The City of Delta is extremely proud of the aviation history at Boundary Bay Airport and excited to share these photographs and stories of the station with the public, honouring an incredible piece of history in Delta,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.
The station was originally built to teach Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal Air Force recruits to be pilots. Over the course of its four years in operation during the Second World War, more than 6,000 students and personnel passed through the station.
After the war, the station re-opened in 1949 as the Vancouver Wireless Station, a Canadian Army Signal Corps site responsible for monitoring Soviet Union military communications. It was permanently closed in 1971.
In a press release, the city dedicated “The Station” to the thousands of people who served at RCAF Station Boundary Bay and the Vancouver Wireless Station.
As part of this project, city staff obtained more than 1,200 photographs depicting RCAF Station Boundary Bay’s buildings, people, military and aircraft equipment. These photos were digitized and divided into three main themes: The Station Story, Heart and Soul, and Hidden History, which includes an interactive map and dozens of photographs of the station’s buildings. In total, more than 200 curated photographs and stories are included in the exhibit.
“It is important to honour the past, including our flight school roots, as we launch this airport into the future. We are pleased to partner with the City of Delta on this project and look forward to seeing how the exhibit transforms over the next few years,”Fred Kaiser, CEO of Alpha Aviation Inc., said in a press release.
The City of Delta intends on growing the exhibit in the coming years to also include new themes, a searchable feature to allow visitors to find photographs of loved ones who may have served at RCAF Station Boundary Bay, and provide in-depth stories about the Vancouver Wireless Station.