Aerodrome Battles Continue in House of Commons

As the House of Commons winds down for the summer recess, two pieces of legislation waiting on the Order Paper show that the fight to protect Canada’s aerodromes is far from over. Despite overwhelming victories by COPA in several cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, and ongoing cases in Mascouche and Neuville, some Members of Parliament are still trying to erode the right of the federal government to regulate aeronautics and threaten the ability of Canadians to develop aerodromes.

Bill C-341, tabled by MP Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, (NDP) Berthier—Maskinongé QC (near Neuville airport), seeks to amend the consultation requirements for new aerodrome construction, expansion, or changes in nature of operations to require the Minister to appoint a “disinterested” third party to conduct the consultations, rather than the aerodrome proponents themselves. The bill also leaves aerodrome proponents on the hook for all fees and expenses related to the third-party facilitator. The Bill would also require the proponent to include in their summary report a declaration on the extent to which the project “respects the development plans and rules established by the province or local, municipal, or regional governments” – a clear attempt to force aerodrome development out of the hands of the federal government and into local and regional politicians’ hands. The Bill, tabled on March 8, 2017, is currently at First Reading.

Similarly, Bill C-392, An Act to Amend the Aeronautics Act, the Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act and other Acts (Application of Provincial Law), was tabled by MP Monique Pauzé, (BQ) Repentigny QC (Mascouche airport), on February 1st, 2018. This Bill would subject many areas of federal jurisdiction to provincial land-use and environmental laws, including aeronautics, marine infrastructure, pipelines, radio stations, real property, and other areas where the federal government retains supremacy of regulation. With respect to aerodromes, C-392 aims to force the federal government to ensure that all construction and operations of aerodromes – including existing aerodromes – complies with the respective province’s laws “concerning land use and development and environmental protection.” Bill C-392 also sits at First Reading.

These two bills highlight the fact that no matter how many times COPA and other aviation groups have to fight to defend our Canadian freedom to fly, that freedom is at constant risk by those with their own local and perhaps politically-driven agendas. But the repercussions are at a national level. Without the generous donations by our members to the Freedom to Fly Fund, COPA would not be positioned to continue defending our aerodromes, our hangars, and all that is at the core of aeronautics.

Webster Competition Deadline June 1

The deadline for entering the prestigious Webster Trophy competition is June 1. Details on the application process are here. The annual competition picks Canada’s “top amateur pilot.” To qualify, any pilot who has never flown for hire can submit the results of a recent flight test (either their private ride or a test administered specifically for the competition) and write an online test. The top blended scores of applicants in each of nine regions qualifies them for the national competition.

The finalists will compete in Peterborough, Ontario Aug. 21-25 hosted by Seneca College. The competition includes a flight test in an airplane, a flight test in a simulator, a written test and an interview with judges. A completed application, flight test result and entry fee are due by June 1. The online written exam is due by June 15.

Offers Taken For Collingwood Airport

The Town of Collingwood is looking for someone or some entity to take over the Collingwood Airport and keep it operating as a public access aerodrome. The municipality is open to all options for the continued operation of the airport. “In September of 2017, Collingwood Council declared the Collingwood Regional Airport lands as surplus to the needs of the municipality and is now seeking offers to purchase or lease the Collingwood Regional Airport lands with options including an outright sale, public and/or private partnership offers, and long-term operational lease agreements,” the town said in a news release. “The Town is seeking a purchaser that is willing to maintain the asset as a publicly accessible Airport for a period of time.”

Offers can be submitted here or in person at the Town of Collingwood clerk’s office by June 15 at 3:30 p.m. Collingwood was in the news last year when a controversial wind farm proposal within the circuit of the airport was finally withdrawn after a prolonged legal battle supported by COPA’s Freedom to Fly Fund. The airport property totals 392 acres and has a 5,000-foot paved runway and a 2,548-foot turf runway.

King George Airpark to Close (Updated)

The owner of King George Airpark in Surrey says the owners of the land on which the airpark operates have granted a two-year extension to his lease. The owner of the land in Surrey on which King George Airpark has operated for 36 years announced in May that he’s not renewing the lease with the operator. Airpark operator Arnold Klappe said the extension was granted shortly after the original announcement that the property will be planted in blueberries. The facility is home to about 40 aircraft and a busy ultralight flight school. The operators of the airport are now looking for another location. Since the airport is privately owned, there is nothing that can be done legally to prevent the owner from changing the use of the land but COPA is engaged in opposing the unannounced closure of Barkerville Airport in central B.C.

Barkerville is owned by the provincial government’s Heritage Branch, which also operates the nearby historic site. It was closed in mid-February and the only notice was a NOTAM. Barkerville has a paved 2700 x 40-ft. runway and was open to the public and staffed daily. As part of COPA’s ceaseless efforts to maintain Canada’s aviation infrastucture, it commissioned a study quantifying the economic impact of general aviation airports.

Download Attendify to access the COPA Convention App

Go to your App Store on your smartphone and download the Attendify app. Once it is downloaded search for COPA Convention and Tradeshow in the Attendify App

Be sure to download the convention app, brought to you by Attendify, for all of the latest updates and event information delivered right to your smartphone. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

You can download the app by following these steps:

  • Open your App Store for either your iOS or Android device
  • Search for and download Attendify
  • Once the app is fully downloaded, search for COPA Convention and Tradeshow in the Attendify App

On this app you can chat with attendees, make your own custom schedule, and even use an interactive map to know with certainty where you need to be.

Paper programs will be available at the event.

See you in Saint John![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

President’s Corner – June 2018

Our mission at work

Advance

Not always simple to get more people into aviation to advance and promote our passion, it takes a lot of effort and dedication. Last May 3rd, COPA was proud to be in Edmonton to witness Elevate Aviation, a national organization that started in Edmonton, receive a substantial grant from the hands of the Minister of Status of Women, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, to create a strategic plan to establish and implement ways to create economic security for women through careers in aviation. Elevate has been able to garner support from major industry partners and all are excited to partake in this project, which brings a new dimension of women in aviation by focusing on the economic security. COPA was proud to speak for all of you in endorsing this project and we certainly look forward to seeing the results in the near future. I will personally put some time into this, supporting the endeavours of the team and assuring the success of a project I firmly believe in.

 

Advance, Promote

In our case, we have revamped the COPA for Kids program this year, to make sure there’s something after the youngsters step out of the aircraft. Starting this year, the program is now giving all those interested 14-17 year olds a free online ground school course to get them to their PPL exam, a full-sized COPA logbook in which to track their upcoming flight hours, along with our Aviation Scholarship Guide done in partnership with Air Canada Pilots Association. We are also expanding the program to you taking youngsters up for a flight anytime in the year, not just on a COPA for kids day, giving you and the passengers a lot more flexibility. See your local COPA Flight for details.

 

Advance, Promote and Preserve the Canadian Freedom to Fly

In one of our e-Flights, you may have seen that last Nov. 21, COPA submitted an exemption request that “No hard time, including calendar time, for the overhaul of variable pitch propellers need be observed in the case of small aircraft with reciprocating engines in non-commercial private operation” to Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA).  Fast forward to April 2018 and we meet with TCCA, who is looking at finding supporting fact-based evidence, talking to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as investigating what, in the 12-month inspections, can be done to see trends or indications of possible failure of props. COPA is ultimately looking at exempting private constant speed props from the requirement to overhaul every ten years in favour of a more cost-effective inspection that allows owners to reinvest in other safety improving equipment. Have you read about the angle of attack indicators you can readily install? Give us a call.

 

 

 

 

Buttonville Airport Saga Continues (edited)

The ongoing saga at the Buttonville Airport (CYKZ) continued last week as it was revealed through various sources that NAV Canada is planning to close the airport’s control tower.

There was also an announcement by the airport’s owners that the field would remain open for business, delaying its planned closure possibly to spring of 2023.

COPA and general aviation community have concerns with the plan to shutter the tower, based on consultation that was done so soon before the airport closes.

COPA subsequently called on NAV Canada and Transport Canada to review the consultation that was done in 2017, which was based on an imminently closing airport. In our view this consultation should be revisited in light of the fact that the airport is planning to stay open. Even if in the last few years the movement numbers have gone down at CYKZ (see Statistics Canada data here), stakeholders may also shed new light that could warrant keeping a tower. An updated consultation should provide these answers.

NAV CANADA reports that they are delaying the closing date from the original date of July 2018, to consider any new information that may be available relating to traffic at and plans for the Buttonville airport.  If no such information is available, or if it does not impact the conclusions of the Aeronautical Study, NAV CANADA will proceed with the closure with notice being provided to stakeholders.