Into the wild blue yonder


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September 8, 2016 12:00 AM

The first ever plane to land in Lloydminster touched down in the 1920s before the city even had an airport, forcing the pilot to make the landing in a local field.

The Border City is about to launch it’s first ever Aviation Hall of Fame to recognize residents who have had an impact on the growth of the Lloydminster Municipal Airport, as well as the local aviation scene in general.
The hall of fame committee was founded in April and has planned a public event on the evening of Sept. 21 to acknowledge the first ever round of inductees, which include Richard Bell, Jim Born and Denis Foss. 
The categories the three inductees will be honoured in are flight training, administration and corporate aviation
“We look at it as an opportunity to acknowledge those individuals and acknowledge aviation in general for the Lloydminster area; there’s our little core of passionate aviating people with the flying club,” said Fred Ackerman, hall of fame committee member and general manager of the Lloydminster Municipal Airport.
“So we just want to get other people excited about flying.”
Richard Bell is a local flight instructor who Ackerman said has trained untold hundreds of people at Border City Aviation, Lloydminster’s own flying school. 
Denis Foss was the original airport manager when the new facility was built in 1980, after being moved from its first location north of the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds, where it stood for roughly 60 years.
And inductee Jim Born has contributed “tonnes” to get commercial aviation in the city, according to Ackerman, and started one of the original charter companies in town.
All three men were considered to be great enough in their respective fields for the hall of fame committee members to select them as the inaugural inductees.
“Some of us airport people just decided that we should acknowledge some of the individuals who’ve made some pretty good contributions to helping grow this airport and just aviation around Lloydminster in general,” Ackerman said.
“So that’s why those are the first three people that we’ve picked, they have contributed lots.”
The flight operations in Lloydminster have grown to include a scheduled flight services, charter operations, the above mentioned Border City Aviation, which among flying lessons also offer aircraft maintenance and charter work as well, and a Nav Canada flight service station, which is a flight advisory system.
As for the future of the Aviation Hall of Fame, the event will keep honouring those who do it big for the flying scene in town, but the nomination process will go through members of the pubic instead of the committee.
The next call for inductions happens in 2018.

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