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Ground breaks for Saskatchewan aviation museum

Watch above: A sod-turning ceremony to mark the building site of the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum and Learning Center took place at the Saskatoon Airport. Aaron Streck reports.

SASKATOON – Saskatchewan has a rich aviation history and soon there will be a place to showcase it. Shovels broke ground Tuesday for the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum and Learning Centre at the Saskatoon’s John G. Diefenbaker International Airport.

“It was May 17, 104 years ago, that the first airplane flew in the province of Saskatchewan and it actually flew off the exhibition grounds in the city of Saskatoon,” said Tim Munro, executive director of the Saskatchewan Aviation Historical Society.

It might not look like much now but an open area next to the SIIT and Saskatchewan Polytechnic hangar is where the public will be able to learn the aviation history of the province.

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“I think a lot of our aviation history has been lost to the province and I think by bringing it back to the province we are re-educating people as to how important aviation really is and has been for the province of Saskatchewan,” said Munro.

“It’s very important to remember our past and to document it properly and this enterprise is an outstanding effort to do that in a province that’s got extensive history in aviation,” said Col. Alex Day, commander of the 15 Wing air base at Moose Jaw.

The historical society has been the driving force to get this project off the ground. The museum will feature a number of displays.

“We will have early bush planes dating back to the early ’30s up to the Tracker that was donated to us by the government today. We will have a lot of the Yellow Wings aircraft which were part of the trainers for the British Commonwealth air training plan,” said Munro.

Construction is planned for this summer with the museum expected to be open next spring.

Funding has come from the private sector with the land donated by the Saskatoon Airport Authority.