Torbay Airport / St. John's Airport
Torbay Airport, now known as St. John's International Airport, was constructed during WWII at the urging of Newfoundland's Defence Commissioner Sir Edward Emerson "to protect Bell Island from raids by German warplanes." At that time, 30% of the iron produced in Canada was smelted at Sydney, NS, from ore obtained from the Wabana Mines, Bell Island. Canada was concerned because it needed the iron ore. Newfoundland (which was not then part of Canada) was concerned because of the employment Wabana Mines provided to Newfoundlanders and the revenue it provided the government. The airport was opened in 1941, at which time it was a landing field for military aircraft. Source: Evening Telegram, Nov. 3, 1991, p. 14; T.M. McGrath, History of Canadian Airports, Lugus, 1992, p. 202.