Aviation History Newfoundland & Labrador

Aviation History NL to Announce Centennial Celebrations for Summer 2019

April 15, 2019


St. John’s, NL –Members of AHNL, local aviation community, corporate funding partners along with provincial and federal government officials, gathered at 150 RCAF (North Atlantic) Wing this afternoon to announce the launch and funding of the Alcock and Brown Centennial Celebrations 2019.

As remarkable as the Alcock & Brown story of the first trans-Atlantic flight is, there is a larger picture, says AHNL Founders and Co-Chairs Bill Mahoney and Jim Burton. They went on to say, “What we are really celebrating is the spirit of adventure, innovation and the drive to succeed that in this instance, marked the beginning of the commercial aviation industry.  An industry with many firsts involving Newfoundland and Labrador. Firsts that can continue to inspire if we choose to look at them through the right lens.”

Keith Collins, CEO, St. John’s International Airport Authority said, “We’ve come a long way from taking off in a field and just clearing the treetops. Alcock and Brown’s significant accomplishment profoundly shaped the commercial aviation industry on a global scale; an industry which continues to be an important economic engine in this province. That is why we are so pleased to partner with AHNL in celebrating this momentous beginning.”

Our federal and provincial governments understand not only the significance of what this first trans-Atlantic flight meant for commercial aviation but what the spirit of innovation represents for our country, our province and the future of our aviation and aerospace industry. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is providing a non-repayable contribution of $256,948 for Aviation History Newfoundland and Labrador

“We are proud of our shared history in aviation, which is why our government is helping  celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight,” said Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “Projects like this serve as a reminder of our historic ties, and help foster new global relationships in tourism and the aerospace sector, benefiting visitors and businesses alike.”

Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, stated “The Provincial Government is pleased to support Aviation History NL’s plan to commemorate Alcock and Brown’s successful trans-Atlantic flight, highlighting our province’s aviation history. I look forward to the celebrations on June 14 and throughout the summer months.”

Please direct media inquiries to June Perry, Pilot Communications

(709) 682-2682 or (709) 753-0794


Aviation History Newfoundland and Labrador (AHNL) is planning to host several events and activities in St. John’s, NL to commemorate this historic event. This celebration marks the significant accomplishments of Alcock and Brown and acknowledges how this historic event also marked the beginning of the commercial aviation industry worldwide.

The upcoming Alcock and Brown 100th Anniversary Celebration has captured the attention of aviation enthusiasts worldwide. It consists of over twenty initiatives supported by the private and public sector. The celebrations include, a Commemorative Flight to Ireland, The Aviator’s Ball, a Garden Party, Downtown Festival, Commemorative Sculpture, City Reception, Historic Stage Production, Commemorative Print and more.

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Co-Chair, Bill Mahoney Aviator, Vice Chair of the Canadian Owners & Pilots Assoc.

Co-Chair, Jim Burton – Pres. North Eastern Sky Services Ltd.


Alcock and Brown Centennial Advisory Team

David Paddon – Aviator, Writer and Storyteller

Sheilagh O’Leary – Deputy Mayor of St. John’s

Marie Manning – St. John’s Airport Authority

Maurice Murphy – NL Chair, Air Cadet League

Gary Hebbard – Journalist, Photographer and Aviation Historian

Dave Hebbard – Photographer/Videographer,

Dr. Mike Deal – Archeologist, Aviation Historian

Pete Soucy– Business and The Arts NL

June Perry – President & CEO, Pilot° Communications

Larry Dohey – Archivist, The Rooms

Minette Ledrew – COPA Flight 97

Rick O’Neil – Aviator, President, O’Neil Auto Group

Rudy Toering – President, Aviation Expert Services

Nichole Tetford – Operations Director, Pilot° Communications