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Air

When the invention of the airplane came to the north starting around the 1920s, the advantages to air travel were quickly realized. Of all forms of transportation, the airplane could cover the most distance in the shortest amount of time, and it could give unprecedented access to some of the remotest parts of the northern bushlands simply because it could fly over obstacles and limitations present in overland or water routes. Still, air travel, while highly efficient, is also a very expensive undertaking. For the most part, air travel among traditional hunters and trappers has been fairly restricted, used only for emergency purposes, or for long distance journeys or supply runs into particularly remote points in the northern woodlands.

Airplanes, like other modes of transportation, have had to be adapted to make them suitable for use in the north. Because suitably clear landing areas are rare to find on land, waterways provide the easiest and broadest places to land. In the summer months, floats are fitted to airplanes to allow for landings on lakes or large rivers. In the winter, these same waterways, now frozen over, become natural landing strips for airplanes. Planes are affixed with skis to allow for smooth landings on ice and snow. Helicopters are also widely employed in the north, especially at those times of the year, like spring break up and the autumn freeze, when it is not feasible for fixed wing aircraft to land.

In larger service communities in the north, air travel is organized through chartered air services, and routes are flown by bush pilots experienced in flying in the harsh climate and weather conditions that the northern bushlands can present. These services were developed for the most part to aid industrial development in the north, but have since expanded to provide additional services to a broader range of clientele.

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