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Delta throwback: Having fun at the old airport

It would be almost a decade before two of the three runways were reopened at the airport
John Bacon proudly displays his nine-foot model of a DC9 that he built and would fly for the 1974 show. Delta Optimist file

Let’s head back to the old Boundary Bay Airport on May 26, 1974, when hundreds of model aircraft enthusiasts gathered for shows.

The fourth annual Vancouver International Model Airshow featured flying models on display and races, with participants from across Canada and the U.S. It was hosted by the Flying Club of B.C.

Around the same time, the Canadian Hot Rod Association, supported by Delta and Vancouver police, convinced municipal council to allow drag racing events to be held again at the airport.

The association’s drag racing operation was halted by council the previous summer after a complaint by one individual over noise. That person subsequently left the area.

Speaking in support of the application, Neiville Cox, former Mayor of Mission City, said his community had a drag strip that was well-supported and featured races with speeds over 200-miles-an-hour.

The airport was reactivated in the 1980s and the City of Delta purchased the facility from Transport Canada in the late 1990s for $1.