COPA and ACPA Unveil 2018 Aviation Career and Scholarship Guide




Today, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) and the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) unveiled the 2018 Aviation Career and Scholarship Guide, a one-stop resource aimed at promoting and facilitating new entries into the Canadian aviation industry. The Guide includes a directory of financial resources available to help fund the training necessary for those interested in entering the industry, as well as a variety of career education articles and other insights.

Over the next few weeks, the Guide will be distributed to high schools, colleges and universities across Canada as well as flight schools, flying clubs, and other aviation-related organizations. Extra copies of the Guide are available upon request.

“As the voice for General Aviation, COPA has been a key player in helping to shape the future of Canadian aviation at every level,” said Bernard Gervais, President and CEO. “Through this Guide, we are connecting future industry members with the resources they need to jumpstart their career. We all have a role to play in Canada’s robust aviation industry, and it starts here with enabling the next generation of Canadian pilots.”

“We at the Air Canada Pilots Association are pleased to work with COPA to provide aspiring pilots with a roadmap to help launch their careers,” said Captain Matt Hogan, MEC Chair. “It is a great time to be a pilot and our Association is proud to be a leader in advancing the profession at home and abroad.”

About COPA:

COPA is the national voice for General Aviation pilots and aircraft owners in Canada. With over 16,000 members in every province and territory, COPA is Canada’s largest aviation association. Through the mission of advancing, promoting, and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly, COPA is at the forefront on issues that affect pilots, aircraft 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

About ACPA:

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) represents more than 3,700 airline pilots who fly millions of passengers across Canada and around the world on Air Canada and Air Canada rouge. For more information, visit

The Air Canada Pilots Association is a proud member of the Safer Skies Coalition of 9,000 pilots in Canada who are advocating for stronger fatigue rules for greater safety. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:

Carter Mann

Director of Government Affairs and Communications



Christopher Praught

Manager of Communications


905-678-9008 ext. 4010



Spousal Program Options during the COPA Convention

Looking for something different to do during the convention in Saint John, NB? Check out these activities from Uncorked Tours.


COPA Spa Day on June 22nd, 2018. 
Spa Chance Harbour will soothe your cares fly away. Located in a sheltered cove, you can relax while walking along the beach, experience thermal therapy using the wood-fired sauna and spa pool. Enjoy the view of the bay from the comfortable cabana, swim under a waterfall or join the Polar Bear Club. Kayaks, paddle boards and yoga boards are available for your use ($).

We will have two hours for you to enjoy the spa. Included is wine and light lunch fare, which will be served in the cabana and can be enjoyed at your leisure. Your guide will take care of all your needs and bring you back refreshed and ready to hit the town!

COPA Shop and Sip Tour on June 23rd, 2018.
We will visit 4 (or more) great independent stores in Uptown Saint John. At each stop you will have about 30 minutes to eat, drink and shop!

Along the way your tour guide will share great stories from Saint John’s colourful past, as well as teach you about Saint John’s food and drink scene and help arrange any shipping or delivery for all the shopping you do.

COPA Membership Survey – Enter to Win!

Member Survey – Flight Data Recording.

Have a chance to win $100 VIP Pilot gift certificate – respond before Friday June 1st.

As part of COPA’s continuing participation in the General Aviation Safety Campaign, we are exploring ways pilots are using new technologies to record, track, and analyse their flights. Recently, the subject of flight data recording has been under scrutiny following several high-profile accidents where little to no data was available to investigators after the crash. The TSB has made recommendations to Transport Canada that the existing requirements for Flight Data Recording devices be expanded to include smaller aircraft in commercial operation. TC is going a little further and wants to look at all aircraft, no matter the type of operation. COPA is committed to ensuring that costly and onerous requirements of uncertain efficiency, not to find their way into the GA world, but to do that we need your help.

We know that even the most basic mobile apps and other technologies in use by pilots have some level of built-in functionality to record certain parameters, and we also know that many pilots use these features to analyze and review their flights for self-improvement. The data collected through this survey will assist us in capturing a snapshot of where the GA industry currently is in terms of voluntary adoption of these technologies and will hopefully allow us to show the regulator that Canadian GA pilots are ahead of the game when it comes to the voluntary use of smart safety technologies.

Responses are, of course, confidential and only aggregate data will be shared with Transport Canada. But to have a chance to win our $100 VIP Pilot gift certificate, we ask that you please leave us your membership number and email where applicable and do so before Friday, June 1st 2018.

We appreciate your assistance and cooperation in completing this short 11 question survey.

Access the survey by clicking here:

Northern Lights Winners Announced

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation board members have announced the eight recipients of the 2018 aviation and aerospace awards.

Each year the not-for-profit foundation honours outstanding women who have made a significant contribution in their field and who continue to lay the groundwork to attract other women to enter or excel in these industries. 

The foundation’s Award Program called the “Elsie” is named after aviation pioneer and human rights advocate Elsie Gregory MacGill, the world’s first female aircraft designer, MacGill graduated from the University of Toronto’s electrical engineering program in 1927 and later became pivotal in the design and production of the Hawker Hurricane in Canada during the Second World War. During her career, MacGill was appointed to the Canadian Royal Commission on the Status of Women and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The 2018 recipients are : 

Pioneer Award : Major Micky Colton joined Canadian Forces as a pilot March 1980 and graduated with wings in 1982. She was posted on the C130 Hercules at the following Squadrons; 436 Sqn Trenton, 429 Sqn Winnipeg, 435 Sqn Edmonton, 424 Sqn Trenton (twice), 426 Sqn Trenton (twice).  Was Air Transport Operations Duty Officer (dispatch job), Wing Flight Safety Officer-Trenton and C130 Standards and Evaluation officer at Transport and Rescue Evaluation Team (TRSET) Trenton-twice.  Micky accumulated about 6900 hours on the C130 before retiring. Retired from the Regular force in October 2011 and joined the Air Force Reserves the next day. She just retired 30th May as a Reservist Duty Operations Officer for 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron- Trenton. Micky went to St. Lawrence College in 2013 and took the Veterinary Assistant certificate program.  She blazed a trail for women in the Canadian military!

Flight Operations Award: Julie Beverstein – Assistant Chief Pilot, Recruitment and Retention, Porter Airlines. Julie has been flying for 20 years. She started flying lessons at the Island Airport while at U of T doing her BSc; she then went to Seneca College to do the rest of her flight training. She was a flight instructor for 5 years before working for Air Georgian out of Toronto Pearson. She joined Porter Airlines in 2009. As the Assistant Chief Pilot, Recruitment and Retention, Julie is an active line pilot and Training Captain. She leads the pilot hiring and all pilot recruitment initiatives at Porter some of which included airline open houses,  the Porter Airlines Early Connection program, destination porter, a partnership with 13 fight colleges coast to coast as well as the Porter Star Award. Julie is one of the leads in Women Soar at Porter, an internal group focused on bridging the gender gap at Porter and more specifically the flight deck. She also sits on the board of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation and is actively involved with the ATAC Fly Canada project.                                

Government Award: Emily Crombez has accomplished a great deal in the first ten years of her aviation career, including being the first female to crew the Bombardier CL-415 waterbomber for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Emily steps up to face challenges head on and inspire those around her. Growing up working on a family ginseng farm, and neighboring tobacco farms to fund her pilot license, Emily completed her training and had to wait until her 17th birthday to receive her Private Pilot License.  Emily graduated from Confederation College Aviation Flight Management program as Class Valedictorian and Female Athlete of the Year.  Following graduation, she flew as a bush pilot in North Eastern Ontario, including three seasons flying the iconic deHavilland beaver on floats.  In 2011 Emily established and for the past six years chaired the Sleeping Giant Chapter of the 99s.  The following year, Emily was hired by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as a Twin Otter Captain and was selected to take part in unique operations such as aerial rabies vaccinating and a polar bear survey. Emily was the recipient of the prestigious Vicki Cruse Emergency Maneuver Training Scholarship in 2013, where she completed an aerobatic and emergency maneuver course.  In 2014 Emily was the first female type rated on the CL-415 waterbomber in North America; she crewed the waterbomber for three seasons.  Currently, Emily is flying the Boeing 737 for WestJet Airlines.  Emily continues to give back to the aviation community through various roles as a Confederation College Advisory board member and reunion planning committee member; 99s Scholarship Chair, Session Launch Coordinator, and mentor for the Professional Pilot Leadership Initiative.  On her days off, Emily dedicates her time to sports, the family farm, travelling, and spending time at the cottage with her partner Nate.

Business Award: Julie Mailhot started with Air Canada in 1987 as a Customer Service Agent and has progressed up the organizational ladder. She was the first female Flight Dispatcher and eventually became the Chief of Operations, managing a group of 80 flight Dispatchers. She has been promoted many times throughout her career and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada Express/Air Georgian.  She has served many other organizations in various positions and has received the Art of Excellence Award from Air Canada. She is also president of the Dreams Take Flight Toronto Chapter and has been involved with the charity for the last 21 years.

Education Award: Dr. Alexandra Kindrat is an educator and research scientist from Montreal. She performs research on mathematics instruction, as well as research related to micro-gravity at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, and on the International Space Station.  She is a private airplane pilot, and a long-time member of the Montreal chapter of the Ninety-Nines. She holds degrees from McGill University (Montreal), the International Space University (France), and Concordia University (Montreal). Along with her teaching duties in Montreal, Dr. Kindrat has been a member of the teaching faculty at NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholar Program at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. Moreover, she has also has served as co-chair at the International Astronautical Congress in the Human Space Endeavours Virtual Forum held in Naples, Italy, and in Cape Town, South Africa. Additionally, Alexandra has provided input as an educational consultant for the Space Advisory Board roundtable on Canada’s future in space at the Canadian Space Agency. Alexandra encourages her students to pursue studies leading to careers in STEM, and continues to inspire her students to reach for the stars through sharing with them her own endeavours in aviation and aerospace.

Engineering Award: Niloofar Moradi earned her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Concordia University in 2010. After graduating, she started her career at Rolls Royce Canada. Shortly after, Niloofar joined Pratt & Whitney Canada as an aerodynamicist in the Turbine Aerodynamics department, where she was involved in all aspects of turbine aerodynamics, from research and airfoil design to engine development & production support.  In 2016, Niloofar earned her Master of Applied Science at École de technologie supérieure, while working full time. She currently works in the Turbine Mechanical Design department at Pratt & Whitney Canada, where she designs and integrates turbine components and coordinates interfaces with other modules. Niloofar is passionate about encouraging and creating new opportunities for the next generation of engineers. She regularly volunteers on boards and for events as part of her firmly held pay-it-forward philosophy. She is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for Mechanical, Industrial, and Aerospace Engineering Department of Concordia University as well as the Aerospace sub-committee of  Palais des congrès de Montréal. Through her involvement with Women Leadership Committee of Pratt & Whitney Canada, Niloofar recently joined the Seize Your Future community and continues to work with charitable organizations such as Dress for Success, L’envol and Operation Christmas Child. In addition to her work and volunteer activities, Niloofar is an avid traveler and scuba diver.

 Rising Star Award: Larissa Chiu received her Private Pilot’s License through the Air Cadet Program in 2016 and now volunteers her time flying in her squadron’s familiarization program for young cadets. Larissa is currently attending the University of British Columbia in the Bachelor of Science program and is on the Executive of UBC’s Aviation Club. She is working on her night rating and Commercial Pilot’s license. She has received many awards along the way for such a young person including numerous Top Cadet awards, a Royal Conservatory of Music Scholarship, and Duke of Edinburgh Gold Medal Award. She volunteers for Girls Fly Too events, is a mentor at her high school, and also volunteers as a STEM Ambassador for Science Expo. Last year she entered into a partnership with Hamilton Watch Company who generously supports her flight training by donating $1,000 through her flight school in exchange for Larissa to fly Hamilton’s top employees!

Rising Star Award: Katie Gwozdecky is a private pilot and graduate of the University of Toronto in Mechanical Engineering. During her time in school she fiercely pursued her passion for space exploration, and joined the University of Toronto Aerospace Team UTAT. With UTAT, she built sounding rockets, designed and manufactured components for small satellites, among many other technical endeavors. Her major contribution to the team was leading UTAT as Director of Space Systems to pass a student levy, raising nearly half a million dollars to fund the launch of the first amateur satellite from U of T, HERON MKII, in 2019. This levy is the first of its kind in Canada enabling high volume fundraising for student teams. She leaves UTAT with a legacy of dedication, perseverance and teamwork. Her passion for space engineering has led her to pursue her MASc at the Space Flight Lab at the University of Toronto in September.

Other initiatives include a Speakers’ Bureau, Mentorship Program, and a Scholarship Program. The 2018 Gala Award Dinner will be held on Saturday, September 29, at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel and Suites Conference Centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Tickets go on sale in July. For additional information and tickets visit our website at or call Anna Pangrazzi 416 399-5247.

COPA Applauds (Another) Victory in Neuville Airport Battle

The Commission for the Protection of Agricultural Territory of Quebec (CPTAQ) recently sided in favor of the Neuville Airport and the Neuville Aero Club (COPA Chapter #198) on May 10, 2018, marking the end of a three-year battle that challenged the supremacy of the federal government to regulate aeronautics.

The CPTAQ had two issues at the core of the Agricultural Activities Protection Law. One was that even though the developers own the land, they could not do long-term leases even if to build hangars, since it would parcel up the land were it to be returned for agricultural use. The other one was that social events held at the airport, some as part of the monthly COPA Chapter meetings, were outside the core of aeronautics and were therefore not under Federal jurisdiction.

“This victory is the latest in a long line of successes for COPA in defending aerodromes,” said COPA President and CEO Bernard Gervais. “The foundation for these wins were COPA’s two landmark Supreme Court of Canada decisions that affirmed the federal government’s sole purview to regulate aeronautics. We are pleased to see the results of those battles being applied in cases such as Neuville.”

COPA’s support for the Aero Club’s battle came from contributions through the Freedom to Fly Fund, a member-funded envelope dedicated to the defence and preservation of Canada’s aerodromes.

The Future of Drone and UAV Regulations

COPA and other stakeholders were invited to hear TCCA’s proposal on the future of drone regulations. Below is a rundown of these regulations presented on May 23 in Ottawa. These will go to Gazette II before the end of the year. It is important to note that these will form the recommendations to Treasury Board ministers and as such are not final or official until they are published in the Gazette.

Two Operating Categories:

  • Weight classes abolished. Will be based on type of operation:
  • Limited: Not near or over people unassociated with the flight (> 30m), not in controlled airspace;
  • Complex: Near (< 30m) people unassociated with the flight and/or in controlled airspace.
  • Flights over large, public assemblies will be subject to a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC);
  • No differentiation for commercial vs. recreational ops;
  • There will be an exemption for model aircraft flyers;
  • Changing terminology from UAV to RPAS – Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems. Unmanned Aerial System too gender-specific and not inclusive enough.

Rules for Drone Pilots:

  • Subject to new licensing regime based on the category of operation (Limited or Complex);
  • Provisions for underaged persons to fly under supervision of a licence holder;
  • New online portal will contain pilot registration, drone registration, licence exam, and study material;
  • Removing requirement for third-party liability insurance;
  • Different open-book, online tests depending on category of operation;
  • At least 80 percent requirement to pass exam;
  • Subject to two-year recency requirements;
  • RPAS operators will be required to be in possession of their certificate while operating the unit;
  • Complex operators will have to undergo a flight review with a government-approved examiner;
  • No mandated requirement for classroom training (one can challenge the exam);
  • Holders of a regular pilot licence would not be exempted, must take RPAS exam for type of operation unless exempted under the Model Aircraft clause.

Rules for Drone Construction and Design:

  • RPAS will be required to be registered with TCCA but not marked, due to privacy issues (for units 250g-25kg);
  • Will not establish strict design standards, but will adopt industry-promoted SAFE criteria for RPAS used in complex operations (Safety-Assured Flight Envelope);
  • Removing grandfather clause for future platforms. Those currently grandfathered will only be compliant for the life of that unit. 

Rules for Safety:

  • Speed limits removed;
  • Distance limit from operator removed. Must be within visual line of sight (VLoS) and maintain VFR at all times;
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet AGL except in controlled airspace, then within the limits of the ATC clearance;
  • If assigned higher by ATC, must remain within VLoS;
  • Night operations will be authorized once requirements for VLoS and lighting are determined;
  • Removed all references to built-up and urban areas. Will go solely on distance relative to people (people in the open, not people inside a building or vehicle);
  • Aerodromes:
  • No entry into controlled airspace except with an ATC clearance;
  • To remain three nm from the centre of an uncontrolled airport;
  • To remain outside the published circuit pattern and approach path of an uncontrolled aerodrome or water aerodrome;
  • To remain one nm from the centre of a heliport;
  • Manned aircraft have the right of way;
  • CFS/CWS will be guiding document for location of aerodromes.

Convention Stopover

Are you planning on flying to the COPA Convention and Trade Show in Saint John, New Brunswick? Why not stop by the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu airport (YJN) on June 20 at the end of the afternoon for a barbecue? Eat, sleep and have some fun before taking off the morning of June 21 for Saint John. Fuel discounts will be available for pilots, and for those wanting to arrive before June 20 to visit the region, transportation can be arranged. Hotel rooms in St-Jean and/or transport to Montreal for those interested will be available to attendees upon request. If you are interested in attending this event, please contact Normand Prenoveau at

Places to Fly: Gimli

This year (July 23) is the 35th anniversary of Air Canada Flight 143’s infamous flameout and landing at the former air force training base at Gimli. You can land on the same runway the Boeing 767 deadsticked to but please take enough fuel.

Neil Armstrong Scholarship Winners

The winners of this year’s Neil J. Armstrong COPA Scholarships have been announced. Erik Yaremkewich, 18, of Squamish, B.C, won a $10,000 ab-initio award while Cody Lincoln, 18, of Seven Sisters, Manitoba earned a $3,000 scholarship to continue his training. Erik Urquhart, of Vernon, B.C. will receive $2,000.

Erik Yaremkewich

When Yaremkewich was a small child his grandfather would bring him to the local airport to watch the planes takeoff and land and ever since he can remember, he has always wanted to fly. Erik spent nearly all of his spare time at the local airport or at air cadet activities learning as much as he could about aviation.
He joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program when he was 12 and now holds the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd Class and is the highest-ranking cadet in his area.
This past year his Air Cadet squadron did not have a ground school instructor. Yaremkewich arranged for eligible cadets in the squadron to attend ground school at a local flight school free of charge to help prepare them for the cadet flying scholarship competition.
He regularly volunteers at the flight school and local flying club, cleaning and fueling planes, and maneuvering planes on the ground but he couldn’t afford flight training. “I have a part time job to help contribute to my own expenses, but flight training has been out of reach for me. This scholarship would make all the difference in me obtaining my private, and eventually commercial pilot’s licences.”
After graduation from Howe Sound Secondary School this June, his plan is to enrol in the Airline and Flight Operations Commercial Pilot Program at BCIT.

Cody Lincoln
At 12 years old, Lincoln attended the Young Eagles Air Academy in Oshkosh. Cody flew there alone and the Delta Airlines pilot took him into the cockpit before takeoff and he’s been hooked ever since.
Given the financial challenges he faced,  Lincoln joined the air cadet program to pursue his goal of becoming a pilot. In 2016 he became a licensed Glider Pilot. The following year, he was the only rural Manitoba air cadet to be selected to attend Power Pilot Camp, out of a total of 16 cadets selected in 2017.
Even though he lived almost two hours away, he volunteered almost every weekend at the Gimli Flight Center, sharing his love for gliding with younger cadets. He currently drives an hour each way to teach ground school to younger cadets at his squadron. “I intend to continue to give back to aviation, particularly by teaching youth.”
Having medaled in an effective speaking program, Lincoln has made speeches at Remembrance Day services, veterans’ dinners and other cadet and aviation-related engagements.
Lincoln graduated a year early from high school and attends the University of Manitoba. Cody is also a member of the UMSAE Aero Design Team and was one of two first-year students selected to go to the competition.
“Winning this scholarship would greatly alleviate some pressure to balance my schooling, volunteering and my need to continue logging and learning, following my passion for flying!” he wrote in his application

Erik Urquhart
At the age of 12, Urquhart was given a familiarization flight as a gift by his family. “After that first flight, I could not stop smiling, I knew I’d found my passion and my future career.”
He discovered he could get a student pilot permit and solo at the age of 14 which he did in 2016 under instructors Rhys Perraton and Kathleen Poynton.
“I have continued my training and recently achieved this goal and received my Recreational Pilot Permit on November 15, 2017, my 16th birthday. I currently have 69.8 hours total time.”
He plans to attain his float rating this spring, the one rating that is allowed to be added to a Recreational Permit, and he’ll continue working toward his private licence. “My next goal is to complete the private on my 17th  birthday in November. I have completed my Private Pilot written and only the flying remains to reach this goal.”
Urquhart wants to become a bush pilot while he builds hours and experience. “I want to be challenged and to experience various aircraft in broad conditions. I feel this will provide me a great foundation to become a captain for a major airline, which is my ultimate goal. My heart will always stay with general aviation, and I hope I can own, maybe even build, my own STOL aircraft and explore Canada and all of the small strips I research online on my days off!”