National Aviation Day – February 23

Today is National Aviation Day, a day to celebrate Canada’s air transportation safety, strength and success! National Aviation Day aims to commemorate the past, celebrate the present and advance the future of aviation in Canada.

Aviation in Canada is a big part of the Canadian lifestyle. Aviation connects Canadians in large and small communities with one another; it contributes to the health of the economy; and, it creates jobs.

The following are some of Canada’s achievements in aviation. (as published on the Transport Canada website).

• 1909 – On February 23, the Silver Dart flies nearly 800 m in Baddeck, NS, marking Canada’s first powered, heavier-than-air flight.
• 1915 – The first series production of aircraft in Canada commenced when the Curtiss JN-3 was put into production in Toronto.
• 1919 – Bush pilots–able to spot forest fires and responsible for mapping and transporting fire fighters and their equipment–were vital to the discovery and early development of Canada’s natural resources. In June, La Vigilance, a Curtiss HS-2Ls, performed the world's first commercial bush flight in the St. Maurice Valley north of Trois-Rivières, Québec.
• 1919 – The first direct trans-Atlantic flight was made from St. John’s Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown in a twin-engined Vickers Vimy bomber.
• 1920 – The Royal Canadian Air Force is formed.
• 1930s – Canada moves more freight by air than the rest of the world combined. Air traffic control, flight plans, fixed routes, designated levels and radio contact, soundproof cabins and flight attendants are introduced.
• 1934 – Jessica Jarvis becomes the first woman in Canada to earn her commercial pilot’s licence.
• 1937 – The government creates Trans-Canada Airlines (which became Air Canada in 1964) to meet Canada’s need for a transcontinental service.
• 1938 – The first coast-to-coast passenger service begins on March 6.
• 1944 – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was founded with the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Canada was one of the original 52 member states, and since 1945 the organization has been headquartered in Montreal.
• 1958 – on March 18, the Avro CF-105 Arrow makes its first high-speed flight .
• 1964 – Most major Canadian airports accommodate long-range jet aircraft. Instrument landing systems at airports help ensure the safety of rapidly growing numbers of air travellers.
• 1999 – Canada leads the world by being the first country to implement safety management systems (SMS) as anew way to eliminate safety risks in civil aviation.
• 2008 – Canada’s Bombardier, Inc, the world's third-largest civil aircraft maker, unveils its ‘green’ CSeries family of fuel-efficient jets.

To learn more about National Aviation Day and to explore careers in the aviation and aerospace industries, visit the Transport Canada website .

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