Regina Municipal Airport
Many people might be surprised to learn that Regina is actually the home of many aviation firsts in Canada . The first licensed pilot was from Regina . The first licensed airplane mechanic was from Regina . The first licensed airport was located in Regina , as was the first licensed airplane. Regina was at the heart of the new burgeoning aviation industry when airplanes first became more commonplace after World War I.
Lieutenant Roland J. Groome was a flight instructor with the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. After the war ended, he returned to Regina with two wartime buddies, Edward Clarke and Bob McCombie. The men formed an aviation company, the Aerial Service Company, in 1919 and laid out an airfield near the corner of what is now Hill Avenue and Cameron Street . This was the first licensed aerodrome in Canada . While Groome was set to become the first licensed commercial aviator in Canada, his partner McCombie received the first Aviation Engineer's Certificate and one of the company's airplanes, a JN-4 (Can) Canuck, became the first licensed commercial aircraft in Canada (registration number: G-CAAA). Groome also flew the first inter-city airmail in Saskatchewan between Saskatoon and Regina . (The letter was from Saskatoon 's mayor to Regina 's mayor.) The Aerial Service Company flew passengers and freight around the province and provided flying lessons to eager would-be pilots.
In 1927, the Regina Flying Club was formed, and some land west of the
city was purchased by the group with the aim of creating a more modern
airport for the city. In 1930, the Regina Municipal Airport officially
opened on the same site where the Regina Airport now stands. Although
most air mail contracts were cancelled and overnight flights to the city
stopped during the Depression, by 1932 the paving of Regina 's runways
began. For many years Regina 's airport boasted the only paved runways
between Montreal and Vancouver . (This was necessary because Regina sits
on extremely rich and fertile topsoil which, while it is excellent for
growing crops, is not good for the wheels of aircraft.)