By Neil Taylor
Maxwell William (Max) Ward was an aviator and entrepreneur who made a lasting contribution to Canada’s aviation history. Born in Edmonton in 1921, Max served as a flight instructor in the RCAF during WW2, then became a bush pilot in Canada’s North. In 1953 Max formed Wardair Ltd. and began offering a domestic charter service from Yellowknife. His freight hauling operations grew and in 1967 he made the first landing of an aircraft on wheels at the geographic North Pole. In the 1960s he changed the corporate name to Wardair Canada Ltd. and began operating international air charters. In 1966 his airline became the third major Canadian carrier operating jet aircraft. By the 1970s Wardair had grown to become Canada’s largest international air charter company. Max eventually sold his company to PWA. Max Ward received the Order of Canada, the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974.
A petition has been brought forward to Canada’s Minister of Transport seeking to recognize Max Ward by renaming the Edmonton International Airport to Edmonton Max Ward International Airport. This petition is open to signing by all Canadian citizens and can be accessed at the House of Commons Petitions Website.
This petition is open for signing until March 4, 2021 so interested individuals should visit the site and sign the petition as soon as possible.
Too often Canada has neglected its aviation pioneers – this petition represents an opportunity to honour one of Canada’s aviation greats. Please take the time to sign today.