The airport served a significant role during World War II. From 1940 to 1944, it served as a training base for pilots who served with the Royal Air Force. The Swift Current Airport began to be developed by 1937 as an emergency stop for the proposed Trans-Canada Airlines. After WWII broke out, one of Canada's most important contributions to the war effort was the creation of Flying Training Schools for training British and Commonwealth pilots. Swift Current was chosen as the location for one of several training schools across the prairie provinces, where airspace was plentiful.
The No. 39 Service Flying Training School (S.F.T.S.) officially opened at the Swift Current Airport on December 15, 1941. 17 young men lost their lives in training accidents, and hundreds more received their wings and were stationed overseas. While stationed in Swift Current, they were warmly welcomed into the homes — and gratefully welcomed into the businesses — of Swift Current. The station closed in the spring of 1944.
Many of the airbase buildings have been repurposed throughout the community, including the Lions' Hall, Ashley Park Hall and the West Wing gallery at Kinetic Park. The first Trans-Canada Airlines flight took off from the airport in 1947, and a private airline operated out of the airport into the 1950s. Currently, the base is home to a vibrant and growing Flying Club. The airport offers fuel, maintenance and repair facilities, and it serves as a base for agricultural spraying operations.
In March 1996, the City of Swift Current's Public Works Department took over operations from Transport Canada and contracted out airport services. Today, the airport is managed by the Infrastructure and Operations Department.
Watch the Swift Current Airport's historical video below: