COPA Attending ICAO Drone Meeting

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be hosting the DRONE ENABLE, ICAO’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Industry Symposium from 22 to 23 September 2017 at its Headquarters in Montréal, Canada. The symposium will provide a unique opportunity for countries, international organizations, industry, academia and other stakeholders to share their research, best practices and lessons learned related to unmanned aircraft system traffic management systems (UTM). Attention will be given to defining a framework for a UAS traffic management (UTM) environment. Key supporting functions, such as a registration system, ability to remotely identify and track unmanned aircraft (UA), communications systems and geofencing-like systems, will be included.

COPA is attending this seminar and will report back on this international initiative to bring about some sort of common understanding and way of doing things.

General Aviation Safety Campaign (GASC) Gets A Helping Hand

This week at the NBAA offices in Washington DC, COPA and Transport Canada met with FAA and American industry officials to learn from our southern neighbours about a program they have had for many years called the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC).  Following a quick introduction at Oshkosh this summer, the FAA graciously offered to share their approach, their know-how and wealth of information gathered over the years.

During the two-day meeting this week, TC and COPA poured over the processes and documents touching all aspects of the American program. “This allows us to jump-start the GASC in a way we could not have thought possible.” said Bernard Gervais, President of COPA. “Aviation safety issues regarding general aviation are quite similar all over the world and we can use this knowledge towards improving safety and developing risk reduction efforts in our GASC” said Heather Schacker, Program Manager, Safety Promotion and Education at Transport Canada.

The General Aviation Safety Campaign (GASC)  was launched back in June in Kelowna during the COPA Convention. It is a joint program between Transport Canada and the GA community to promote flying safely.

Those attending the meeting in the accompanying photo are, from left:  David Oord (AOPA); Pierre Ruel (TC); Kate Fraser (FAA); Heather Schacker (TC); Bernard Gervais (COPA); Carter Mann (COPA)

Events Next Week

September 30, Haliburton Stanhope ON (CND4): Haliburton Fall Colours Fly In / Drive In Lunch. 1000 – 1600. Lunch hosted by the Haliburton Stanhope Airport Committee. October 1 rain date. For more information contact Cam Loucks at 705-754-2611 or

September 30, Westlock, AB (CES4): The Westlock Flying Club (COPA Flight 139) will be hosting a COPA For Kids Event on Saturday, September 30, from 10 am – 2 pm.  If you have, or know of kids aged 8-17 who are interested in aviation, bring them out to the Westlock Airport to let them experience a free flight!  For more information, contact Dan Charrois at 780-961-2213 or

September 30, Kitchener, ON (CYFK):  Join COPA Flight 56 for a COPA For Kids day.

September 30, Vaughan, ON:  The Northern Lights Aero Foundation Elsie MacGill Awards Gala was established in 2009 and each year honours up to seven women for their contributions in specific aviation and aerospace disciplines.  The 9th annual gala will be held at the Toscana Conference Centre in Vaughan, ON.  Contact

Places to Fly: Courtenay Air Park

Courtenay Air Park is near CFB Comox, where Vimy Flight pilots will hold a meet and greet and static display Sunday (Sept 17) to mark the end of their epic adventure, which began with a flight over the Vimy Memorial in France in April. Anyone who missed the pilots on their cross-country educational flight can also attend the Saturday night presentation at Comox United Church starting at 7 p.m.

Harold Fry Passes

Harold Fry, a former COPA director for southwestern Ontario in 2007 and the former captain of Flight 68 in Wiarton died Sept. 2.

Fry came late to aviation and got his private licence in 1994 and logged 1,000 hours before he was forced to hang up his wings for health reasons. He continued to be active in GA promotion and COPA issues and earned numerous awards for his dedicated service.

SOAR Program Growing

Air Georgian’s SOAR program (Sharing Opportunities for Advancement and Reward) is gaining national traction and the latest flight school to join the effort is Coastal Pacific Aviation in Abbotsford, B.C.

The SOAR program is being initiated by Air Georgian, which operates regional carriers feeding Air Canada hubs in Calgary and Toronto, began the program several years ago in response to the serious pilot shortage that is especially acute for regional carriers. The program works directly with flight schools as a conduit for instructors to get jobs with the airline and to promote aviation as a career among high school students.

“Coastal Pacific Aviation is very proud to be working with an outstanding airline such as Air Georgian,” said Brian Kong, Director of Flight Operations for CPA. “We’re looking forward to allowing the best qualified instructors to advance their aviation career with a member of the Air Canada Express family.”

Coastal Pacific is the fifth school to join the program and the first from the West. Other partners include Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, Brampton Flight Centre, Ottawa Aviation Services and Ready, Set, Fly.

TC Recency Seminars

Ontario pilots have a variety of opportunities to maintain their recency requirements and maybe learn something as Transport Canada is set to launch its fall set of safety seminars.

Those near Toronto can attend any of three free evening seminars at TC’s facility at 4900 Yonge St. Attending any one of them satisfies the two-year recency requirement. They’re all held in the third floor auditorium from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

On Sept. 20, Nav Canada’s Rob Elford, an aviation briefer from the London Flight Information Centre, will give a “virtual tour” of the FIC and the services it provides. He’ll go over weather briefings and flight planning and give some insight into the location-specific weather phenomena that affect that area of Ontario.

Oct. 18, a Transportation Safety Board accident investigator will discuss the latest trends in accidents and incidents in Ontario. It’s a chance to meet one-on-one with an accident investigator to get first hand knowledge about the latest safety trends.

Nov. 15, a flight instructor discusses the many extra precautions and preparations pilots need to take during winter. “Additional care and planning is required for operating an aircraft in colder temperatures, during inclement weather and flying while wearing bulky clothing,” TC says in its announcement.

Kelowna Flight Buys Club Plane

The Kelowna Flying Club (KFC) says it hopes to attract new pilots with the purchase of its first club airplane, a 1979 Grumman AA5B Tiger.

“People join flying clubs to fly, and we had not been in a position to provide an aircraft for their use until now,” said club President Dave McElroy. “There is great enthusiasm in the club about this aircraft.”

Some of the 92 club members and others loaned the club money to make the purchase. Eighteen members have already signed onto the flying program and paid for 12 hours of flying over the next year.

“We expect this number to quickly grow to 25, which we’ve set as the maximum number of flying members for one aircraft,”  said McElroy.

The flying program will be managed by club member Jim Hannibal and overseen by the Flying Program Committee, chaired by Chad Gartly.

The aircraft was bought in Oshawa.  C-GVXY is a four seat, single-engine aircraft powered by a 180 Horsepower Lycoming O-360 engine. Cruise speed is just under 140 knots (250 km/hr) and the aircraft’s range is about 500 nm (900 km).

The current Kelowna Flying Club has been in existence since 1984 and occupies a building near the north end of YLW.

Tax Changes Opposed

COPA is supporting the Canadian Business Aviation Association’s opposition to tax changes that could make business aviation inaccessible to some Canadian businesses. In a statement, COPA President Bernard Gervais said that a significant number of COPA members own their aircraft in companies and will potentially face huge tax increases by flying their aircraft.  The Canada Revenue Agency is considering sharply increasing the value of taxable benefits for those who use business aircraft for personal use. Until 2012, personal use of a business aircraft was assessed at the same value as a business class ticket for a comparable flight on a commercial airline. CRA is proposing three levels of taxable benefit assessments on those who use business aircraft for personal use.

If an employee who has to use the business aircraft for a business trip and wants to take a spouse or other guest, who will not be working, along, that person will pay tax based on the value of a business class flight. But if an employee uses the plane for personal use, CRA says that should be comparable to chartering a similar aircraft and tax paid on that amount. But what’s particularly concerning to CBAA and COPA is the so-called Category Three which deals with the personal use of aircraft by the owners of the business that owns the aircraft.

In that scenario, the taxable benefit would be based on a proportional share of the total cost of ownership of the aircraft as well as an “available for use” benefit based on the original capital cost of the aircraft. In other words the owner of company set up to own an aircraft would have to pay personal income tax on the total value of every hour that aircraft was flown for personal use.

Quite a few of our COPA members do have their aircraft registered in their company and would thus fall into the third category which makes absolutely no sense,” said Gervais. “We totally agree and support CBAA in their view that “Category three is unlawful and produces personal benefit valuations that exceed the fair market value of the personal benefit actually received.

CRA also hasn’t thought things through very carefully. For instance, many destinations used by business aircraft don’t have commercial service (which is often the main reason for owning a business airplane) and many places that do get scheduled service don’t have any business class seats going there.

CBAA has met with CRA officials to voice concerns and the changes are still at the proposal stage. CBAA has asked its members to complain to their MPs and CRA about the proposals and prepared a letter template for them. Download it here.

Mondaq, a legal analysis Web site has a good summary of what’s at stake here.

President’s Corner – October 2017

COPA’s Got Talent
What Can You Do For Your Association?

Whenever I meet our members, we inevitably get into a discussion of ideas and priorities of issues affecting aviation. I love these conversations because they allow us to take the pulse of what’s important to you and oftentimes point things out that we may not always be aware of at the Ottawa office.

What concerns me is when a somewhat accusatory finger gets pointed at us (or mainly me) with a “COPA should” or “you guys are not doing enough about” or another classic: “but AOPA and EAA in the States”. We would love to be able to answer all of your questions and address all of the issues that concern us here in Canada, but with our limited aviation staff, we need to prioritize. And if we want to compare to these great associations to the south of us, they have about thirty or more times our budget and staff for about twenty times our membership. And other than general information and nice magazines, are they really doing something or advocating for members here in Canada? No. Absolutely not, only COPA does. COPA and you.

You, because COPA has a broad range of talent within its membership and a lot of it is untapped. We are reaching out to all of our members in search of knowledgeable folks that can, from time to time, provide guidance, advice and assist COPA with its member services. This can range from answering questions or giving opinions to full-fledged participation in committees or focus groups where your expertise can benefit all of our membership. For example, we have had help in information technology for the web site, environmental questions, medical questions and insurance just to name a few. All of this is coordinated through the head office and the help of other professionals or board members. Only we can do it best for ourselves and we’re counting on you.

The Magazine
Are there safety experts, mechanics, instructors or others in different areas of interest that wan to share in written format? Opinions, points and counterpoints or some other analysis? A page or just a bit more, we’d like to have some in-depth look at various subjects. For example, following its investigation (A15Q0120) into the fatal floatplane crash that occurred in August 2015 near Tadoussac, Quebec, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is recommending that Transport Canada require all commercially operated de Havilland DHC-2 (Beaver) aircraft be equipped with a stall warning system. Have we got a point and a counterpoint on the subject or any other that would be worth sharing? Even a philosophical view of what it is to have such a freedom to fly in Canada. It’s all yours. Contact me at