Article: Alberta Awakens to Possibilities of Civil and Commercial Aviation

  • Image of Fokker Super Universal, CF-AFL, at Fort McMurray, Alberta bound for Edmonton

    September, 1928, Canadian Aviation

    With three civic airports, a government air station at High River, and in the neighbourhood of a dozen emergency landing fields scattered throughout the mountainous region, Alberta has entered the list of provinces keenly interested in the development of aviation.

    In Edmonton there is a splendid flying field and so far one hangar. Captain “Wop” May, D.F.C., is the instructor at the Aero Club, which has approximately 200 members. The club already has one Moth plane from the government and another is arriving shortly. Some of the students are nearing the solo stage in instruction.

    Lethbridge has a flying field and is the customs airport in Alberta. There is one machine there, a Hisso Standard, owned by Charles Elliott.

    While there has been some delay in Calgary in the selection of a suitable flying field, the one that has now been chosen has been well worth waiting for. It is a municipal airport, and is one of the finest in Canada, according to Capt. Fred McCall. It is 251 acres in extent, is free from all hazards, level, and located five minutes by automobile from the centre of the city. The Aero Club, which has 150 members, has been active since November, 1927. Approximately 100 students took the ground school instruction.

    Tremendous interest has been awakened in country points in Alberta. At the present time there are 57 country members, in addition to those already mentioned, who are waiting to come to the city for instruction. Three woman members passed the ground school instruction examinations very creditably; Miss Louise Burka obtaining a mark of 97%, passing out on top and leading all others by a wide margin. Miss Gertrude de la Verne and Mrs. Hilda Simmons are the other women members.

    Aviation will mean to Alberta definite annihilation of tremendous distances which will bring far northern spaces within easy access to settlers, fur men, lumber men and others. All points in the province will soon be linked together, and distances geographically measured in miles, in terms of air travel, will be in hours.

    Businessmen belonging to the various service clubs in Alberta are deeply interested in the new air development. They realize it will mean an increase of business in many lines and they are banding together to give support to the enlargement of the scheme. As an instance of this, Calgary is in a position to secure a tremendous share of the potential aviation gasoline business. An American pilot who visited here recently declared that the gasoline supplied him at the Bowness Field was the best that he had ever used, and it was made in Calgary, by Calgary men, from Turner Valley crude.

    In Alberta, air travel means a tremendous enlargement of the territory tributary to it. It will mean the inclusion in the Calgary district of areas, which, by present modes of transport, are hopelessly distant. These are the words of an enthusiastic airman in Calgary: “To Alberta I think aviation means the opening up of our northern hinterland and the laying bare of all that vast territory’s wealth in fur and minerals. It means, too, the preliminary populating of that country by making all parts of it quickly accessible to the miner, the prospector, the trapper and the lumber man.”

    Image of Fokker Super Universal, CF-AFL, at Fort McMurray, Alberta bound for Edmonton

    This article originally appeared in the September, 1928 edition of Canadian Aviation magazine.

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