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I read on the Wikipedia page for the Avey Field State/Laurier Airport:

Also known as Avey Field State/Laurier Airport, it is one of six airports that straddle the Canada–US border. The others are Whetstone International AirportCoutts/Ross International AirportInternational Peace Garden AirportPiney Pinecreek Border Airport, and Coronach/Scobey Border Station Airport.

Why are there 6 airports that straddle the Canada–US border? That sounds too many to be just a coincidence.

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    $\begingroup$ Those strips of concrete keep Canada from floating away, they just conveniently double as airports. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 23, 2023 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ These are, likely, the only true "international" airports in the world. All the rest are actually "intranational" since they only exist in one nation. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Jan 23, 2023 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ @FreeMan but then again, there is Basel Mulhouse Freiburg EuroAirport in France / Switzerland ;-) It officially serves cities of three countries, although it resides "only" in two. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2023 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ I did say "likely". I figured there was at least one somewhere else... $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Jan 23, 2023 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @FlorianAlbrecht there's also Geneva airport, part of which is built on former French territory and which has a French customs area so flights to and from France can operate as domestic flights without customs controls. Still not the same as the US-Canada airports, but it would have been if not for the territory swap. $\endgroup$
    – phoog
    Jan 24, 2023 at 0:17

1 Answer 1

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There's no way to answer this as well as Half As Interesting did on youtube:

If you don't want to watch it, TLDR, the US had the Neutrality Act(s) and couldn't send war materiel. But it could effectively deliver them to the border.

It was loophole in early WW2 for the US to remain "neutral" but get materiel to Europe. Here's what the British Purchasing Commission wikipedia page says:

Aircraft purchased by the Commission first had to be moved across the border into Canada, due to the US' neutrality laws, it being illegal to transport 'war materials' direct from US ports.

Half as Interesting also says Piney Pinecreek wasn't one of those airports. It's the exception to the loophole.

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    $\begingroup$ Effectively, then, the aircraft landed in the US, but rolled to a stop in Canada. Once they're technically in Canada, there's nothing we can do to prevent those crazy Canadians from flying them elsewhere? That's a pretty clever work around! $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Jan 23, 2023 at 17:13
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, the process of crossing the border was somewhat more complex 56755.blogspot.com/2007/07/… $\endgroup$
    – DJohnM
    Jan 24, 2023 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ As I understood it, they didn't rolled to a stop in Canada, as that was forbidden by the Act. IMHO, the most important part of the video, is in fact that "Canadian citizens would hitch the empty planes to horses or tractors and drag them to the Canadian side" $\endgroup$
    – hectorct
    Jan 24, 2023 at 15:44

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