Air transport began to mature in the 1920s and the 1930s with the development of formal airports with the necessary runways, buildings and services.
A Curtiss flying boat used
at the Jericho Beach Station
in Vancouver in 1920.
At the same time more and more companies were formed to fly passengers, mail, and even freight. The government used airplanes not only for military purposes, but also to carry out aerial surveys for mapping and mineral exploration.
B.C. Airlines airplane at the
airport in Victoria, 1920s
Gypsy Moth airplanes lined up
for the opening of the
Vancouver Airport in 1931
Detail of G-00319
The rapidly expanding air transport system in Canada and British Columbia was of great benefit to people in all parts of the province.
The first airmail flight by
Yukon Southern Air Transport
leaving Kamloops for
Prince George and Fort St. John,
November 1, 1939.
Most of the bush pilots remained working for small companies, but some developed their businesses into major airlines.
Yukon Southern Air Transport plane
at Fort St. John in the 1940s
In 1942 the Canadian Pacific Railway company bought his
airline. Under McConnachie's continued leadership, and with its
headquarters in Vancouver, the company, re-named Canadian Pacific
Airlines (or CP Air), became one of the major airlines in the
country. Now merged with other airlines, it is known today as
Trans Canada Airlines
(now called Air Canada)
plane at Victoria Airport, 1946
Detail of I-26678
Airplanes and buildings at
the Vancouver Airport, 1946
Detail of I-27880
The Second World War saw great developments in air transport throughout Canada. New airports were constructed, or older ones were expanded, and new technology improved aircraft. After the war, air transport opened up British Columbia to the world as never before. Vancouver International Airport in particular grew to be the major entry for flights from the Pacific Rim.
Unloading a TCA plane,
Victoria Airport, 1950
Opening of the new airport
Within the province air traffic increased each year, jet planes were introduced, and new airports were built. There are few communities today that do not have an airport, or some kind of air service.