had been a hot, dry summer in 1912. The sunburned grass
suffered stunted growth but the daisies and
It was September and Halifax's first unofficial airport was to be
put to use. You couldn't
call it a "port" or even an
airstrip by later standards. It was the N.S. Provincial Ex.
and the take off spot for
the first heavier-than-air craft to
flutter through the sky over Halifax.
Charles F. Walsh literally wrestled his puffing, groaning biplane
out of the weeds inside the
racetrack behind the stage. As he
tried to take off, he couldn't clear the fence at the end of the
and landed in a heap by the poultry shed. The next day, camouflaged
with bandages and band aids, he
made flight. It was a good
flight but didn't leave Civic leaders with any great desire to
establish an airport
for 20 years.
Halifax Municipal Airport was owned by the city but was leased to
the Halifax Aero Club until March 1932. Improvements were made
and Pan America showed interest in establishing daily flights. The
now consisted of two runways, a hanger, oil and storage shed
and a terminal building for the office and
waiting room. The
terminal building was 18'x20' with a 6' veranda. It had a phone and
electric power but
the toilets were chemical as there was no running
water (the nearest well was 400 feet up the street from
gate). Fire protection wasn't a great concern as they
had 2 Foamite extinguishers (One 5 gallon and
2 1/2 gallon plus two 1 qt Pyrene extinguishers.
the buildings were painted Pan Am colours. Pan Am started a daily
service between Halifax and
Boston (approximately 475 miles) at the
end of July 1931 with stops in Bangor, Calais and St. John.
flight from St. John took an hour and 35 minutes. The
company had 12 Sikorsky Amphibians on the run
and they were capable
of flying 2 miles a minute.
pilots would stay at the Lord Nelson but the radio operator and
steward shared a room at the Queen
Hotel at the rate of $90 a month
(not including meals).
roster for August 9, 1931 showed the following employees:
C.G. - Helper
R.A. - Helper
J.C. - Labourer
R. - Clerk-Typist
W. = Traffic Rep.
Robert A. - Manager, at a salary of $250 a month
Am operated for August and September, expecting to return with an
enhanced schedule, but with the
depression in the USA and the
difficulty in getting suitable aircraft, they never returned.
production soon caught up and surpassed Halifax's tiny
airport. Pilots were claiming that they
could hardly get their
undercarriages over the top of the fence. There was no room
for expansion and
soon, the airport termed by some pilots a "pocket
handkerchief field", was closed.
field was turned over to the military during the Second World War
and used as a Supply Depot.