A man with a passion for flying who has made a huge commitment to the aviation industry and the community has been named to Canadaâ€™s Aviation Hall of Fame.
The honour is being bestowed upon George Miller, a retired Royal Canadian Air Force colonel, Team Leader of the Canadian Snowbirds Aerial Demonstration Team in the 1960s, and Team Leader of the Fraser Blues Formation Team, which is renowned for its numerous local Remembrance Day fly-pasts.
Miller, former longtime manager of Langley Regional Airport, will be inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame on June 4, 2015 at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.
George will then take his place beside great Canadian aviators, leaders, and innovators such George Frederick â€œBussâ€ Beurling, William Avery â€œBillyâ€ Bishop, Wilfred Leigh Brintnell, Rosella Marie Bjornson, Clive John Boddoe, and many others.
â€œWhat an honour this is for George, and one he truly deserves,â€ said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese. â€œLangley Regional Airport is an outstanding asset to our community. Not only is this thriving facility one of the top community airports in Canada, it provides transportation, hundreds of jobs, and training opportunities for in-demand careers. The airport is a huge economic driver and it was Georgeâ€™s vision, commitment, and hard work that got it there.â€
â€œGeorge is the person who made the Langley Regional Airport the national success story that it is today,â€ said former Township councillor Grant Ward, a fellow pilot and aviation enthusiast who started the process of nominating Miller for the induction into the Hall of Fame two years ago. â€œHe has also been a huge contributor to the success of many community events and projects, including the long-running Canada Day celebrations that ran at the airport grounds for many years.â€
â€œIt truly was my honour and privilege, along with George Serviss, another member of the aviation community, to put George Millerâ€™s name forward,â€ he said. â€œWe have both known George for years and seen the impact he has had on the airport facility, on our community, and on everyone he encounters. He is a great ambassador for Langley Township and it is wonderful that he has been chosen to receive this recognition.â€
Miller, who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1953 at age 18, became a top fighter pilot, serving from Germany to Egypt to the Arctic. He was base commander in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and worked in Brazil before becoming manager of Langley Regional Airport in 1990.
Armed with a vision for what the facility could be, Miller transformed the struggling airport into a multi-million dollar business that is renowned for its helicopter operations. In 2013, his son Guy followed in his dadâ€™s footsteps to become Airport Manager, while George stayed on in a consulting capacity.
Miller recently staged an air parade and festivities to celebrate the Airportâ€™s 75th anniversary and teamed up with the organizers of The Skyâ€™s No Limit â€“ Girls Fly Too! to present a hugely successful event designed to spark femalesâ€™ interest in the aviation industry.
The Fraser Blues have become a fixture in the community during special events like the Abbotsford Air Show, and their fly-pasts are especially poignant during Remembrance Day ceremonies over several local cenotaphs.
â€œWe are so proud to have someone like George in the Township of Langley,â€ Ward said. â€œHe is one of those outstanding people who truly has a passion for what he does, and he makes the community a better place.â€
â€œOn behalf of the Township of Langley, we want to congratulate George Miller for receiving this well-earned place in the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame,â€ Froese said. â€œWe are so grateful for all he has done and continues to do for the Airport and for Langley Township. We are thrilled that his legacy will live on in this way.â€