St. James – Winnipeg Airport Commission

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Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

St. James – Winnipeg Airport Commission

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Description area

Dates of existence

1938-1965

History

In 1936, after considering a number of sites for the establishment of an airport, the City of Winnipeg and the Rural Municipality of St. James agreed to develop Stevenson Field as a modern municipal airport. Stevenson Field had been operated by the Winnipeg Flying Club on land in the Rural Municipality of St. James since 1929. It was named for Captain F. J. Stevenson, a noted Manitoba flyer who died in a crash in 1928. Private flyers, commercial companies and the RCAF Non-Permanent Squadron used this field. The new airport was to be managed and controlled by a commission.

The St. James – Winnipeg Airport Commission Act was passed by the Legislature of Manitoba in 1938 and the inaugural meeting was held on March 30, 1938. The Commission was a statutory corporation with full control over the operation of the airport, with the added intent to work toward making the airport into a self-sustaining commercial entity. In 1940, the Government of Canada embarked on its Empire Air Training Scheme and Stevenson Airport was placed under the direction of the Minister of Transport for the duration of World War Two. During this time, the Commission continued in an advisory capacity. Following the war, the federal government retained control of the airport and the Commission continued in an advisory role. In 1962, the name “Stevenson Field” was changed to “Winnipeg International Airport”. In 1965, the Commission was wound up and its assets distributed. In 1997, Transport Canada transferred control of the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to the Winnipeg Airports Authority, Inc.

The Commission was comprised of seven members: two were members of the Council of the City of Winnipeg; two were members of the Council of the Rural Municipality of St. James; two were non-Council members (one selected by the City of Winnipeg and one selected by the Rural Municipality of St. James); and one was a representative of the aviation industry in the Greater Winnipeg area appointed by the six other members. Under the terms of incorporation, the Commission was required to report to Council at the end of each year or as required.

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  • EAC