80 Air Navigation School

“Peritia Per Scientiam” (Skills Through Knowledge)

About this Squadron

After the end of WW II it was decided not to training separate navigators any more. It was felt that pilots could adequately be trained to also perform the duties of navigators. Pilots were trained to perform navigator duties at the Air Gunnery and Navigation School.

With effect from 1st August 1946 the Air Gunnery and Navigation School, redesignated Bombing, Gunnery & Air Navigational School (B.G. & A.N.S.), was moved to AFS Langebaanweg to train pilots in navigational skills. The unit was redesignated Air Operational Training School in early 1950 after it was decided that the previous name did not represent the function of the unit adequately.

The policy was changed on 1 July 1952 and the renewed training of separate navigators started on 28 July 1952. The flying required for navigational training fitted in well with the flying of 17 Squadron equipped with Venturas. It was also felt that it was important to create an independent unit to provide navigational training for the SAAF. The Navigation School, AOS, was detached and relocated to AFS Ysterplaat from January 1953. The move was completed by April 1953 and the Navigation School resumed training during this month.

The Air Navigation School was established as an autonomous unit with effect from 28 August 1953 at AFS Ysterplaat. The School took full responsibility for navigation training of PF personnel, including AF Gymnasium cadets, and ACF personnel. The school operated under the direct functional and administrative control of the Officer Commanding, 2 Group.

On 1 January 1982 80 Air Navigation School moved back to Langebaanweg, but in January 1991 it was moved back to Cape Town and was stationed at AFB Ysterplaat (DF Malan) detached. Due to the closure of the SAAF presence at Cape Town International Airport, the unit moved to AFB Ysterplaat in January 2003.

80 Air Navigational School continues to be responsible for basic navigation training and navigator instructor training. It also provides training in maritime operations, orientation for supporting aircrew members and survival training for all aircrews. The School does not operate its own aircraft, but borrows the C-47TP, Cessna Caravan and Astra as required.

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