June 21, 1928
On June 21, 1928 the prestigious New York Times newspaper declared that Trepassey, Newfoundland would be the site of a great international airport.
The newspaper headline declared:
“Miss Earhart Predicts Great Airport at Trepassey for Transocean Flights.”
The headline came about as a result of an interview that Amelia Earhart had with the international press shortly after landing at Burry Port, Wales becoming the first woman to make the Atlantic crossing.
Earhart and her crew had departed fromTrepassey, Newfoundland the morning of June 17 landing “across the pond” on June 18. Prior to departure from Trepassey she has spent twelve days in the town meeting many of the local people.
Earhart told the New York Times reporter:
“Trepassey ought to be some day a great airport for transoceanic travel. It processes the finest harbor, perhaps the only harbor, adapted naturally for seaplane takeoffs in its part of the world.”
But she cautioned that Trepassey needed to develop an infrastructure to sustain this new industry that was emerging. She told the reporter:
“…there are very few trains from the outside world into Trepassey and absolutely no facilities for taking care of a plane or repairing them. … If someone would build a seaplane station in Trepassey it would be a great help to aviation, for there is going to be more transatlantic flights from there so many that they will not even be of interest to the public.”
Unfortunately for Trepassey no infrastructure was established.
In Newfoundland, the town of Harbour Grace became the airport of choice. The Harbour Grace airfield, built on the summit of this hill by the local people became starting point of many early flights from West to East. Amelia Earhart the next time she was in Newfoundland by passed Trepassey that she had spoken so highly about and completed the world’s first transatlantic solo flight by a woman after taking off from Harbour Grace, on 20 May 1932 and landing at Northern Ireland about 13 hours and 30 minutes later.
Recommended Archival Collection: (International) George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers: The Amelia Earhart papers offer a rare glimpse into the life of America’s premier woman aviator. In 1928 she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. The online collection includes more than 3,500 scans of photographs, maps, documents, and artifacts relating to Earhart. http://www.lib.purdue.edu/spcol/aearhart/
Recommended Reading: East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart By Susan Butler. Da Cappo Press, 2009. (A chapter is devoted to her time in Trepassey.)