May 9, 2024  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS): Celebrate a Century of Aviation Innovation at the Bushplane Museum  

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario — The oldest, continuously-flying, non-scheduled government air service in the world will be celebrated this summer in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 

The Ontario Provincial Air Service was launched on March 1, 1924.  It and its successor, the Aviation, Forest Fires & Emergency Services in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, have provided a century of flying operations in support of resource management, emergency response, and consequently, advances in bush plane development.  

To honour this significant milestone, the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre (CBHC) will be hosting a series of events and exhibits. 

“Our museum is dedicated to telling the story of bush flying in Canada, but specifically that of the Ontario Provincial Air Service. We are thrilled to be able to recognize and celebrate this amazing moment in aviation history in the waterfront hangar where it all began 100 years ago,” said Jamie Hilsinger, Executive Director of the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.   

The OPAS was a pioneering force in 1924, combining aviation with environmental protection. By developing its own fleet and skilled workforce, the Department of Land and Forests established new methods of resource management and development with unprecedented efficiency. 

“It’s the bush flying pioneers, and the thousands of pilots, air engineers and support staff who have contributed to 100 years of resource management, emergency response, and technical innovation who we are honouring this summer.” – J. Hilsinger 

Anniversary exhibits and events represent chapters in the OPAS’s notable history and are designed to engage, educate, and inspire attendees of all ages.  

For more information and updates on the OPAS 100th Anniversary Celebration, visit OPAS 100th Anniversary & Celebration or contact Robin Wilson at rwilson@bushplane.com. 

Closed - July 1st.

In observance of Canada Day.