COPA Convention Next Week

The venues are ready, the preparations are in their final stages and COPA Flight 36 and  the City of Kelowna is rolling out the red carpet for one of the most ambitious COPA conventions in recent memory. Under-wing camping for the big event opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 21, and things get rolling on Thursday with a delegates and VIP Welcome Dinner. The exhibitor hall (more than 30 exhibitors) and numerous informative break-out sessions go on Friday. Saturday features the exhibits, COPA’s annual general meeting and awards and the annual banquet, emceed by Mikey McBryan and with a keynote address by Barry LaPointe, founder of Kelowna-based KF Aerospace.

A new addition this year is an impressive static display of aircraft. At our deadline the list included: Stemme S10-VT (Richard Visscher),  two RVs (Dave McLeroy), Diamond DA62 (Diamond), Diamond DA42 (Pacific Rim Aviation), Quest Kodiak (Aviation Unlimited), Cessna TTX (Cessna), Cessna Grand Caravan EX on Floats (Cessna), De Havilland Beaver on Floats, Acro Sport biplane ( Jill Oakes), Cessna 182 on Floats (Acorn Welding), Cessna 340, PA32- 260, Glasair, Viking Air’s Twin Otter 400 C-FMJO on floats and Turbo Beaver C-GODH on floats.

COPA Volunteers Aid Search

Dozens of COPA members in B.C.’s Interior have joined the effort to search for a young pilot and his girlfriend who went missing on a flight from Cranbrook to Kamloops last week. Alex Simons, 21, of Kamloops and passenger Sidney Robillard, also 21, began the flight in a Piper Warrior in Lethbridge and stopped for fuel in Cranbrook last Thursday. They never arrived in Kamloops, triggering a major search. Simons is a new pilot and had about 60 hours when he left Lethbridge. The mountainous terrain and abundant snowpack on the route of travel is making the search difficult.

About 20 aircraft and dozens of volunteers, many of them members of Canadian Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) are helping RCAF search and rescue aircraft and personnel look for the young couple. A rescue base has been established at Kelowna International Airport. Spotty weather has hampered the search but clear skies are forecast for the balance of this week.

Burlington Airpark Appeal Successful

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of the Burlington Airpark and overturned an earlier decision which ordered the Airpark to comply with a 2014 city bylaw with respect to work done between 2008-2013. The appeal court ruled that the City of Burlington could not retroactively apply its new, more stringent bylaw to the airport improvement project. The Court of Appeal was of the view that the City’s attempt to do so was an example of “reaching into the past and declaring the law to be different from what was” which was a “serious violation of the rule of law.”

The airpark owners began moving fill to improve the airport in 2008 and did so without permits from the City as the City advised at that time the construction was considered to be under federal jurisdiction pursuant to the Constitution Act, 1867 and that the City’s bylaws did not apply.

In 2013 the airpark applied to the City for a severance to obtain land to the north to extend the main runway. At that point, the City changed its mind, issued a stop-work order in respect of the airport improvement work  and further ordered the Airpark to comply with a 2003 bylaw that regulated importing soil. In 2013, the City won a court challenge that ruled the 2003 bylaw did apply to the Airpark, but that court did not make a ruling as to whether it could apply to work already completed. At that point, the City repealed the old bylaw in favour of a new, tougher bylaw in 2014 and told the airpark owners they had to comply with the new bylaw in respect of the work already completed in 2008-2013, before the 2014 bylaw had been enacted. The City again took the Airpark to court and the first Judge ordered the Airpark to file an application with the City under the 2014 bylaw for the 2008-2013 work. The appeal court overruled that earlier decision and said the 2014 bylaw could not be applied retroactively. It Court of Appeal set aside the earlier decision, dismissed the City’s court application and ordered the City to pay legal costs to the Airpark.


The Zenair SAM

A few years ago, a young French entrepreneur set out to design a new type of light aircraft in Lachute, QC.

Thierry Zibi, against all odds, got the SAM to market but discovered being an aircraft manufacturer wasn’t to his taste. He sold the project to Zenair, which has revamped the design into a high performance aerobatic aircraft.

Russ Niles interviewed Matt Heintz at Sun ‘n Fun.

Places To Fly: Maniwaki

Maniwaki is inviting pilots to its annual fly-in this weekend and to sample the generous hospitality of the aviation community there. Here’s what organizers had to say:

A few days left before the Maniwaki Fly-in on Sunday, June 11, starting at 11:00am. Dinner will be served.

Maniwaki offers a nice runway, re-paved in 2011, 4921′ by 150′ and lots of parking space for FREE. You may arrive earlier and camp under the wing. We have a pilot’s lounge which includes a washroom, shower, mini-frig and micro-wave. We can even accomodate pilots with ground transportation.

A bilingual operator will be providing airport advisory on 122.8.

If you have “flying in a jet” on your bucket’s list, then look no further and hop in the jet L-29 Delfin. On Sunday, June 11, during the Fly-in event, you may purchase a ride for $999.00 (no taxes). A once in a life time experience! (Acer Cold War Museum)

You will also be able to admire on the ground the PT-26 Cornell from The Vintage Wings and the popular Beaver The Bull (both based at Gatineau).

On top of all that, we have lots of prizes for pilots to win including a headset and life jackets!

For any questions, contact Nathalie Fortin by phone at 613-277-2166, or the airport manager, Michel Lachapelle, at 819-449-6103.

Will you be with us? Hope to see all of you there!

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Funding For Alberta Airports

Six airport projects totalling about $2 million have been included in the Province of Alberta’s Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program for 2017.

The government announced the projects in early June and will pay 75 percent of the cost of the projects.

The five airport projects are being funded along with 81 road and bridge improvements.

The biggest aviation project is the upgrading of Slave Lake Airport.

“Having both a forestry air tanker base and air medevac at the Slave Lake Airport, it is easy to see this airport is heavily used by the people of this region and surrounding area,” said Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman. “This infrastructure would not exist without provincial support, and after five years of lobbying we are excited to see the province investing again in regional airports.”

Airport funding has been lean in Alberta in recent years and the funding, though relatively low, is seen as a positive sign that the province is recognizing the value of local airports.

The total value of all the projects is $37 million, with bridges getting most of it.

Nevertheless, local governments are happy to see the money again.

“Strong transportation networks are vital to making rural Alberta a great place to live, work and invest. The AAMDC is pleased by the Government of Alberta’s commitment to restoring STIP funding, as it will play a large role in supporting rural municipalities in their continual work to maintain and improve local road bridges, resource roads and community airports. The AAMDC looks forward to working with the Government of Alberta to ensure that STIP funding continues and reflects the strong partnership between the Government of Alberta, the AAMDC and Alberta’s rural municipalities.”

Newfoundland/Labrador Director Needed

By Cheryl Marek, COPA Director Southern Ontario, Nominating Committee Chair

COPA relies on the strength of its membership to fill certain volunteer positions within the organization. Consider donating some of your time and experience as a member of the board of directors and make a lasting contribution in pursuit of our mission: advancing, promoting and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly. We are currently seeking someone to fill the vacancy in that role in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The role of a COPA director is multifaceted: each director wears at least three hats. The qualified COPA director is much more than a pilot – any board in a governance role requires a wide variety of perspectives on which the strategic direction of the organization is set.

In the oversight capacity, directors are responsible for the governance of the association. Through the democratic process of discussing and voting on motions and resolutions, Directors call upon their collective experience to reach a consensus on what is best for our members nationally. The board provides strategic guidance and sets the corporate priorities. The board also ensures that the management and operations of the organization comply with the requirements outlined in applicable legislation and governing documents. Board members are expected to attend meetings of the board, usually three per year, and serve on at least one committee.

Directors are elected on a regional basis, to represent the interests of the members in their areas within the management framework of the organization.

Directors often interact with COPA flights and other members to provide updates or background information on issues related to the organization and to general aviation overall.   We encourage directors to work hand in hand with their local COPA flights disseminating such information as the need arises.

COPA directors can also act in certain circumstances in an advocacy role as an extension of the national office. Issues can range from keeping airspace and airstrips open, to how and when aircraft are to equip with new technologies. Advocacy can involve attending meetings with government representatives, airport decision makers or community members, writing to government or regulatory officials, doing research and making presentations. These activities are coordinated with the COPA national office.

It might sound a little overwhelming, but, as in any volunteer organization, passionate individuals have the time and are willing to share it. As a volunteer position, there is no direct compensation, however expenses incurred while on COPA business are reimbursed. Travel to and from board meetings and the annual convention is also provided. There is satisfaction in making one’s contribution on a collaborative team dedicated to advancing, promoting and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly for more than 17,000 members. It is a privilege to learn from those who have gone before us, and to pave the way for those who will benefit in times to come.

The chance to meet pilots and people from across the country and learn the varied experiences and interests while addressing concerns, establishing and growing programs like COPA for Kids, and promoting the Neil Armstrong Scholarship, Freedom to Fly Fund and Flight Safety Foundation are all ways in which directors contribute to the future of COPA, and to the future of GA in Canada.

We encourage all members to consider your candidacy as a COPA director, the mix of personal/interpersonal, governance and technical skills/strategic competencies you can offer to the organization and your fellow pilots.


L’Association canadienne des propriétaires et pilotes d’aéronefs (COPA) a rendu publique ce jeudi une nouvelle étude qui met en relief l’impact économique des activités de l’Aviation générale sur les collectivités canadiennes et sur l’économie dans l’ensemble du Canada. Effectuée par la société InterVISTAS de Vancouver, l’étude évalue à 9,3$ milliards annuellement la contribution de l’Aviation générale au rendement économique pancanadien, ce qui inclut le maintien de près de 36 000 emplois à plein temps à travers le pays. Le rapport souligne également les retombées fiscales engendrées par cette activité au profit de la communauté, de même que ses effets sur l’emploi direct ou indirect.

« Au premier chef, cette étude illustre l’importance très réelle de maintenir l’infrastructure de l’Aviation générale dans les communautés de l’ensemble du Canada, y compris les aéroports locaux, affirme Bernard Gervais, le président et chef de la direction de COPA. L’Aviation générale constitue un élément critique du réseau de transport, en ce qu’elle contribue à relier entre elles les localités tout en créant des emplois et des débouchés pour les Canadiens. COPA a donc bien l’intention de coopérer avec les communautés de façon à concrétiser l’impact de l’industrie dans leurs régions. »

L’Aviation générale décrit pratiquement toutes les activités de l’aviation civile, à l’exception du transport aérien régulier ou des services de charter. Les catégories les mieux connues de l’Aviation générale incluent l’aviation privée, l’aviation d’affaires, l’aviation agricole et la formation des pilotes. Selon les estimations les plus récentes du Conseil international des propriétaires et pilotes d’aéronefs (IAOPA), la communauté mondiale de l’Aviation générale compte 350 000 aéronefs et 700 000 pilotes, qui contribuent annuellement au maintien de cette activité. Par comparaison, l’aviation commerciale regroupe 60 000 aéronefs et 400 000 pilotes. Ces chiffres dramatisent l’importance du secteur de l’Aviation générale à travers le monde.

COPA représente plus de 17 000 pilotes et propriétaires d’aéronefs à travers le pays et agit comme le porte-parole de facto de toute l’Aviation générale au Canada. En accomplissant sa mission qui est de faire progresser, promouvoir et préserver la liberté canadienne de voler, COPA se retrouve constamment à l’avant-garde quand il s’agit de défendre les intérêts des pilotes, de leurs appareils et les aéroports de toutes les localités à travers le Canada. COPA coopère également avec tous les niveaux de gouvernement pour assurer un bel avenir à l’Aviation générale. Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez rendre visite au site

Si vous désirez des précisions additionnelles sur l’importance économique de l’Aviation générale au Canada, veuillez entrer en contact avec Carter Mann, Directeur des affaires gouvernementales et des communications à 613-236-4901 x112 ou par courriel à


Study Values GA at $9.3 Billion

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) has released a new study that highlights the economic impact general aviation contributes to Canadian communities and to the national economy. The study, compiled by Vancouver-based InterVISTAS, estimates that general aviation operations in Canada contributes $9.3 billion in economic output nationally and directly accounts for almost 20,000 full time jobs in communities across the country.  The report also highlights the benefits that general aviation operations bring to communities in terms of tax revenues, direct, and indirect employment.

“This study shows the real importance of maintaining the general aviation infrastructure in communities across Canada, including local airports,” said Bernard Gervais, President and CEO of COPA. “General Aviation is a critical element of the transportation network and one that helps connect communities and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. COPA looks forward to continuing to work with communities across Canada to realize the impact that the industry has in their regions.”

General aviation (GA) describes all civil aviation operations that are not scheduled air services, or unscheduled air services for hire. The most common GA activities include private aviation, business aviation, agricultural aviation and flight training. According to recent estimates by the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA),  there are more than 350,000 aircraft and 700,000 pilots worldwide who participate in the global GA community on an annual basis. In comparison, commercial aviation accounts for only 60,000 aircraft and 400,000 pilots. This demonstrates the vast size and significance of the GA sector, worldwide.

COPA represents over 17,000 pilots and aircraft owners across the country and is the national voice for General Aviation in Canada. Through the mission of advancing, promoting, and preserving the Canadian Freedom to Fly, COPA is at the forefront on issues that affect pilots, aircrafts and airports in communities across Canada and is an active partner with all levels of government in ensuring a bright future for general aviation. For more information, visit

If you would like more information on the economic impact of general aviation in Canada, please contact Carter Mann, Manager of Government Affairs and Communications at 613-236-4901×112 or by email at