(File photo)

(File photo)

Air tour stopping in Ponoka July 10

Event will be like a planes and pilots ‘show and shine’

A special event is coming to the Ponoka Industrial Airport, and is an opportunity for aviation enthusiasts — big or small —to get up-close-and-personal to some planes and their pilots.

About 25 to 30 planes will land on the tarmac on July 10.

The event is part of the 2021 Central Alberta Air Tour that is promoting the importance of the aviation industry and how regional airports can play a role in Alberta’s economic recovery.

The tour is an initiative of Lac St. Anne-Parkland MLA Shane Getson. Organizing the tour’s stop in Ponoka has been a collaborative effort between the Ponoka Flying Club, the Town of Ponoka, and Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr.

Getson is a pilot himself and an aircraft owner. The passion started young while he was growing up on the family farm, he says.

Now, he is aiming to promote awareness of the aviation industry, both as a personal interest of his, and as an MLA speaking on behalf of the UCP’s economic recovery plan for Alberta.

Aviation has been identified as a key area of potential growth for the province.

The first Alberta air tour was held last year, and another tour was held last month, and there as a big positive response, says Getson. Ponoka wasn’t a stop last year, so they wanted to make sure they came during this tour.

Other confirmed guests include Orr, Dina Jammaz, Industry and Indigenous Partnerships, Elevate Aviation, and Scott Holmes, Team Outlaw Air Racing.

The Ponoka Flying Club encourages anyone with an interest in aviation to come out to the event and take a look at the planes and talk to the pilots.

The event is not an air show, but more of a “show and shine” to let aviators show off their planes, says Ellery Dirksen and Dave Scott with the flying club.

“Bring your kids out for a fun time,” they said.

The planes are visiting several communities on July 10, including Drayton Valley and Rocky Mountain House, before landing in Ponoka.

The gates will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and planes are slotted to begin arriving at about 11:30 a.m. until around 12 p.m. They will start flying out around 1 p.m. and head to Wetaskiwin.