YYS (CA-0053)

CLOSED Blissville Airport
Blissville, New Brunswick, Canada

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Blissville and Trans Canada Airlines

Here's an edited version of an article that I wrote about Blissville.

The Blissville Airport was built in the late 1930s as part of the Trans Canada Airways system. Airports and navigation systems were built approximately 100 miles (160kms) apart, covering Canada coast to coast, to facilitate air mail and eventually passenger traffic. It was located about 30 miles (50km) SW of Fredericton on a dusty gravel road and didn’t see the first scheduled TCA flight until May 10, 1941 a stop on the Montreal to Halifax route. Evidently it wasn’t too successful as the trial ended six weeks later on June 15.

On July 1, 1944 Blissville was again added to the TCA route, becoming a regional airport for SW New Brunswick, and this time it was promoted with direct cab service both to Fredericton and Saint John. The distance to Saint John was about 35-40 miles (50-60km) SE, halfway being on dirt roads. TCA pulled out of Blissville when the Airport at Pennfield Ridge was opened up to serve Saint John on April 1, 1947. The terminal/operations building was later disassembled and moved in sections to serve the same purpose at the new Fredericton Airport (YFC) until a new terminal was built there in 1963.

Over the last several decades, the Blissville Airport has been used by Forest Protection Ltd. as a base for fighting forest fires and conducting spraying operations. It is now located just inside the boundary of CFB Gagetown with a 4000 foot (1200m) paved runway and a Military Airport code – CCH3.

(adapted from article by George Brien that appeared in the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum Newsletter, Fall 2007)

If anyone interested, I have lots of info on TCA people that worked there in the mid 40's.

gnbrien@eastlink.ca

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RV81

It seems like such a tiny airport to have that amount of traffic with no ramp space to park them all, but I guess helicopters don't need much runway, so you could just park them on the runway?

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Blissville, on CFB Gagetown

In 1981, CFB Gagetown was the location of the largest deployment of canadian troops since the Korean war, for an exercise calle Rendez Vous 81. About 10,000 troops took part in the exercise. Blissville was the centre of most helicopter activities for the duration of the exercise. At the height of RV81, 73 helicopters were based at Blissville (Kiowas, Twin Hueys, Chinooks from Canada; and Cobras and Chinooks from the US Army). A transportable approach radar (PAR) was installed to serve temporarily as the only approach aid (pre-GPS times!), with precision limits (200 - 1/2). The airport was temporarily given the ident CH3. I was flying the first aircraft (a CH-135 Twin Huey) to flight plan into CH3 under actual IMC, coming from YOY. Shortly after we changed from Boston Center to Moncton Centre, over the Maine-New Brunswick border, the controlled gave us a clearance to Chatham beacon (ident CH), which we promptly refused... I guess that the message about the temporary ident was not distributed to all controlllers.


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