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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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Wardair (1946)

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 Airlines (1956)


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A de Havilland Fox MothMaxwell (Max) William Ward established Wardair in 1952 to provide chartered passenger services to points beyond Yellowknife. In 1962, the company purchased a DC 3 to provide passenger service to national and international destinations. By the 1980s, Wardair had grown into the third largest airline in Canada.

Max Ward became a pilot and then an instructor in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. His first company, Polaris Charter Company, was established in 1946 in Yellowknife. It provided passenger and cargo services from Yellowknife into the remote regions of the north and Arctic. Wardair dock had just returned to Yellowknife from Inuvik Much of the flying occurred north of Yellowknife into uncharted areas where Max Ward took prospectors looking for gold and other minerals. To do this, he had to learn how to fly and navigate by sight. He transported people and their cargo into the wilderness, and brought them back with cargo that included bars of gold from northern mines. At times, Max provided air transportation to members of the Royal Family when they visited the North.

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Alberta's Aviation Heritage

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