Using planes to travel long distances
In 1980, planes were increasingly used to travel long distances. This means of transportation was much faster than boats to travel to Europe and trains to travel throughout the continent. The increasing use of this popular means of transportation caused significant changes in the Quebec environment.
The use of airplanes as a means of transportation was possible because of a number of technological innovations. First, planes were bigger, and this meant they could carry more passengers. The first commercial planes from the 1940s had only 20 seats. Those of the 1980s had up to 350 seats. Also, the power and range of planes increased, so they could fly further and faster.
In 1980, Montreal had two airports, one in Dorval and another in Mirabel. Dorval was used for all flights originating in Canada and the United States. It had been built in 1941 at a time when the old airport in St. Hubert could no longer accommodate the large number of passengers arriving in or stopping over in Montreal. As the number of passengers kept growing in the years following this, the federal government decided to build a second airport for international flights. In 1975, Mirabel Airport, situated in the countryside north of Montreal, opened its doors. Air traffic decreased between 1880 and 1990, and Mirabel Airport was closed in 2004. Today, all flights are handled by Dorval Airport (renamed Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in 2004).
Rockets and space shuttles, which were invented and perfected in the second half of the 20th century, are a little like airplanes, but they allow you to go much further and are powered by more powerful engines. This means of transport is only used by astronauts to explore space exploration, but who knows, one day maybe the shuttle will also be used just like a plane to go on vacation … to the moon!
Author: Alexandre Lanoix