Minister Baird issues statement on National Aviation Day



    OTTAWA, Feb. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird,
today 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. And 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:

For further information: Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa,
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