Empire Air Training Scheme participation

17 Dec 1939

Australia’s Minister for Air, James Fairbairn, signed an agreement in Ottawa, Canada, which committed the RAAF to participating in an Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) during World War II. The idea of training aircrew on an Empire-wide basis had been proposed by Britain in September and accepted by Australia the following month. Under EATS, Australia undertook to train 11 000 aircrew each year until March 1943. With several modifications, the scheme actually continued until June 1944, by which time Australia had sent abroad 37 810 personnel.