A movement to name Edmonton International Airport after late bush plane and air charter pioneer Max Ward is gaining some steam. A petition on change.org has gathered almost 3,000 signatures and more are being added daily. Ward died at the age of 98 after collapsing at his Edmonton home in early November. Ward got his start in the North in the 1940s using Fox Moths and grew his business into Canada’s largest charter airline and third largest scheduled carrier. The business was absorbed by Canadian Airlines International in 1989 and Ward retired shortly afterward.
Brett Ballah, who started the petition, said Ward’s death offers a timely opportunity to end a somewhat unusual naming convention for major airports in Canada. Very few airports in Canada are named after aviation pioneers,” he said in the preamble to the petition. “Most airports that are named after people are named for politicians.” Ballah is proposing the official name be Edmonton Max Ward International and to be more commonly referred to as Edmonton Ward, similar to Toronto Pearson and Montreal Trudeau.