The Alberta Aviation Museum is trying to get a Pacific Western Airlines 737 moved by the time Edmonton’s City Centre Airport closes for good this weekend.
The plane is too big for the site’s new property lines and moving it by land is not an option.
In order for the plane to be flown to Villeneuve Airport, it must get a flight authorization from Transport Canada and then undergo a safety inspection.
Tom Hinderks, executive director of the Alberta Aviation Museum, said the authorization came through late Tuesday afternoon.
“That’s only one load off the plate,” he said.
A safety check will take about 72 hours. If the plane doesn’t pass that check, its future will be in jeopardy.
“The aircraft will end up being destroyed,” Hinderks said. “We can’t afford to disassemble and truck it off site and reassemble it.”
As part of the museum’s collection since 2005, Hinderks says the plane is an important artifact worth saving.
“This specific history of this airplane is so important and so tied to Alberta having come into service at this airport in 1979, flown hundreds of thousand of Albertans, created a big piece of our jet age history,” he said.
“The historic provenance is too important to lose so we need to get it out.”
The last runway at City Centre Airport closes this weekend.
If it makes it out, the plane will be housed at the new Alberta Flying Heritage Museum at Villeneuve Airport.