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Military Air Traffic and Airfields in the Western Occupation Zones

Military Air Traffic and Airfields in the Western Occupation Zones

While during the first three years after the end of the war the German sky remained calm with the fighter squadrons been sent back home, now a hectic period of re-armament after the foundation of NATO began. Now, fighter squadrons were again stationed in great number in the occupied western German zones, as well as in the western neighbouring countries like Great Britain, France, Belgium, Denmark and The Netherlands, all now belonging to NATO. The number of support flights grew as fast and additional flights took place by the victorious powers and other countries.

Ground aids for the safeguarding of all these flights could hardly cope with this development. Besides that these aids were not uniform throughout the western occupation zones since they were dependent on those of the home countries. Especially the telecommunication procedures, the navigation ground aids and flight movement control had not been standardized and consolidated.

The ICAO Convention only came into effect in 1947, and then only for civil aviation. Not all the military forces of concerned ICAO member states felt obliged to apply these uniform rules at the beginning and therefore deviated from them in their own way until 1948, when reason finally set in and one also began to adopt the military procedures accordingly; and the Four Allies set up their own air navigation organizations immediately.

Great Britain with its RAF used the rules and procedures of its „Air Traffic Procedures - ATP“ operations manual IP-3024 of 1943. The USA applied the rules of its „Procedures for the Control of Air Traffic - Army, Navy, Civil - ANC-PCAT“ manual, implemented in 1942 with the air navigation and air traffic control regulations applicable to flight operations of the US air forces and civil American airlines.

Read More:
The Development of Air Navigation in West Germany after 1945
Vol 2, The first ten years - when nobody knew Air Traffic Control (ATC) existed
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Die umfassende Dokumentation über den Luftverkehrsdienst Flugsicherung. Eine Buchreihe in mehreren Bänden, die von Frank W. Fischer im Verlag der International Advisory Group Air Navigation Services (ANSA) herausgegeben wurde.