BC Aviation Museum welcomes Hawaii Martin Mars water bomber to Saanich Peninsula

Apr 12, 2024 | 42-5, Blog, Governance, Legislature, Statement, Video | 0 comments

After many years, and several attempts, the Hawaii Martin Mars water bomber will make one final flight from its home on Sproat Lake near Port Alberni, BC, landing on the Saanich Inlet before being moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum where it will be a permanent attraction for the Saanich Peninsula and Capital Region.

This mission is no easy task and will take a tremendous amount of effort and coordination. Thank you to all the people who are involved in this project and I look forward to seeing this dream come true!


Today I celebrate the B.C. Aviation Museum. A few weeks ago it was announced that the world-famous and beloved Hawaii Martin Mars water bomber will make its final flight from Sproat Lake, Port Alberni to the Saanich Peninsula, where it will become a major attraction at the B.C. Aviation Museum located at the Victoria International Airport. People from around the world will be able to visit and learn how the Mars played a central role in the province’s storied history of fighting wildfires.

From 2018, I have supported the museum’s ambitions to acquire the aircraft, and finally, in January 2022, the owner, Colson Aviation, and the B.C. Aviation Museum began formal donation discussions. Since then, the museum’s Save the Mars team volunteers have worked tirelessly behind the scenes with stakeholders, including Heritage Canada and the Victoria Airport Authority.

Finally, in fall 2023, I reviewed, with the Mars team of the project lead, Richard Mosdell, president Steve Nickel, treasurer Bob Saunders, director John McManus and executive director Connell Oldfield, the next steps to get the Mars to Victoria. There was only one more chance to rescue the plane with everything aligned. We met with the Minister of Tourism. She immediately saw the opportunity and provided the resources that were needed to make this happen. This is such good news. Thank you, Minister.

So in the fall of 2024, there will be one more flight. And then following that, you can visit the Hawaii Martin Mars at the B.C. Aviation Museum. This is the beginning of an exciting future for the museum. And I want to thank the B.C. Aviation Museum’s amazing staff and all the volunteers for making this an incredible attraction on the Saanich Peninsula. And thank you to the minister for seeing the vision and sharing it.



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