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Minister Baird issues statement on National Aviation Day

Feb. 25, 2009 – Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird, released the following statement to mark Canada's first National Aviation Day.


February 25, 2009
By Minister John Baird

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Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird, released the following statement to mark Canada's first National Aviation Day. "We have come a long way in the hundred years since J.A.D. McCurdy flew the Silver Dart at Baddeck, Nova Scotia. That short flight – just 800 metres long – changed the face of our country and the course of our history.

"This initial flight sparked the imagination of many Canadians who dreamed of reaching the skies and travelling into space. This pioneering moment launched a series of innovations that enable us today to travel across the world and beyond. "Canada can be proud of its many contributions to the aviation industry. We have led the world in air transportation, green innovation and space exploration.

"Today, people who help build and fly airplanes help others to bridge vast distances for business and leisure. Aircraft also provide a lifeline to many remote and northern areas of our great country.      

"February 23, 2009, marks the 100th anniversary of that first powered flight at Baddeck. Today, we celebrate Canada's proud aviation history. "As we begin our second century of flight, we honour the pioneers who opened the skies to travel and trade as well as those who helped us to reach the stars and advance our knowledge of space.

We dream of exciting new chapters yet to be written in Canada's aviation and aerospace story. "On behalf of the Government of Canada, it is my honour to declare February 23 as National Aviation Day. This yearly celebration will allow us to remember our past achievements and help chart the course of Canada's aviation and aerospace futures."

For further information: Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at  www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.