In 2000, the Navigator's Day of the Russian Air Force appeared on the calendar of Russian holidays. By order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force of the Russian Federation No. 370 dated August 2, 2000, March 24 was set as the date of the holiday. On this day in 1916, General Mikhail Alekseev, Chief of Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, signed an order to establish the Central Air Navigation Station (TsANS).
During the First World War, the structure of military aviation was rapidly improved, as a result of which special services appeared: meteorological, aeronautical, aerial photogrammetric, radiotelegraph and engineering. At the same time, the central air navigation station was created.
At that time, there were no precise instruments that helped pilots plot a route while in flight. Therefore, the duties of the navigator-aviator included orientation in the air according to terrestrial objects. He compared the map with the terrain, identified landmarks, and then indicated with his hand to the pilot the direction of further flight. The navigator also had to take into account the data of weather reports when organizing flights, monitor the serviceability of the navigation equipment of aircraft and airfields, and, if necessary, repair it.