Thunder Bay (CYQT) International Airport Rate Increases

COPA was contacted by the Thunder Bay International Airport Authority (TBIAA) and asked to provide feedback regarding their proposed rate increases. COPA has reviewed the proposal and confirmed that there will be no rate increases or landing fees for piston aircraft operating at CYQT.

The FBO at CYQT is operated by a third party and is not part of these specific proposed rate increases by the TBIAA. Also, we have confirmed that our members should not be charged for parking by the TBIAA if the aircraft is parked at the FBO; the FBO is responsible for their parking fees. If you have been charged by both the FBO and the TBIAA, you are able to contact Kim Pressick in the TBIAA Accounts Receivable department at or by phone at (807) 473-2605 to rectify the charges. 

CFPS and ICAO NOTAM Format Issues

COPA has been made aware of issues with the new NAV CANADA Collaborative FLight Planning Services (CFPS) and concerns with the ICAO NOTAM Format. We have contacted NAV CANADA and confirmed they are aware of issues with the mobile platforms for CFPS and they have informed us that they are working to rectify these issues; including the display of the Upper Winds. 


The ICAO format for NOTAM information will remain. This format standardizes Canada with global practices.  


We asked NAV CANADA if they planned to close the actual Aviation Weather Web Site (AWWS), and we were told that the AWWS will operate in parallel to CFPS until the new system has proven performance and become fully operational, with an approximate timeframe of late 2020. When they have removed the AWWS, the current links for AWWS will automatically direct you to CFPS for all applications. 

Through our conversations with NAV CANADA, COPA is scheduled on December 16th for a consultation meeting to discuss the requirements, improvements, provide feedback and to receive a demonstration of the newest software scheduled for release in the February-March timeframe next year. COPA will be providing IFR and VFR qualified pilots to participate at the meeting and ensure that NAV CANADA is aware of the needs of our members. 

COPA urges the membership to continue directing your concerns, comments and suggestions to to improve on the products offered to pilots.

Saint-Roch Proponents Polish Proposal

In the long Mascouche airport saga, the latest was that the proponents had bought a parcel of land in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan (QC), did their consultation process (including 2 townhall meetings, one of which quickly degenerated to almost physical violence), submitted their report and the Minister denied the creation of the aerodrome in a letter dated Aug. 30. We reported on it here on Sept. 5. At the time, the proponents said they would carefully weigh the options available to make the best decision.

Having listened to what the citizens were saying and the content of the Minister’s refusal letter, the proponents clarified the data and proposed aeronautical activities at the aerodrome and redid a whole noise study with that more precise data. They have met again with the city councillors on Nov. 18 and invited some members of the coalition against the aerodrome on Nov. 25, in order to be able to discuss and not get into an unproductive confrontational match.

They plan to submit an updated consultation report to the Minister in the next few days. COPA has been closely monitoring and working in any way we can, to make sure this iteration meets everyone’s expectations and allows this badly-needed aerodrome in the greater Montreal area to see the light.

You can read their news release here (it is a Google-translated copy of the original one in French).


Pilot Apprehended at Langley, B.C. Airport

The busy but peaceful Langley Municipal Airport was crawling with law enforcement and border protection personnel last Wednesday after U.S. authorities pursued an aircraft from Winthrop, Washington to Langley. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they tried to interview a pilot who landed at Winthrop without notifying Customs and he jumped back in his plane and took off. Members of the Air and Marine Operations arm of the agency gave chase in helicopters and officers saw the subject throw bags from the aircraft before crossing the border into Canada. 

“Due to the exceptional skills of our pilots and air interdiction agents, we were able to ensure that this man did not escape arrest,” the CBP said in a news release. “Additionally, our partnerships and coordination with Canadian law enforcement agencies played a crucial role in the arrest of this man.” After landing in Langley, the still-unidentified suspect was met by multiple agencies, including the RCMP. He was arrested and his aircraft was seized. 

Edmonton Pilot in Electric Race Series

Edmonton air race pilot Scott Holmes is trading the roar of Reno for the whir of electric airplane racing. The 30-year-old oil refinery engineer has been racing his Cassutt in the National Championship Air Races and the Air Race 1 race series the last couple of years and will be one of eight pilots in the Air Race E series of races that will start next year. Working with a team of Silicon Valley engineers and electric car specialists, Holmes has removed the Continental O200 from the Cassutt and replaced it with an electric motor that he’s not releasing any details on except to say it’s all part of the never ending quest to get more speed out of the machine. “Experimenting is kind of in all our blood as air racers,” Holmes told the Edmonton Star. “We go faster by experimenting an trying to figure out how our machines work and how to make them better.”

Working with the tiny Cassutt is a particularly challenging technical exercise. The airplane is only four feet high, has a wing span of just 16 feet and only weighs a few hundred pounds so there’s not much room for batteries. Those lithium ion batteries have to be contained in case they experience thermal runaway and start a fire. “It would kill me, so the airplane needs to be to tolerate that kind of failure without being fatal to me.” The races themselves will be more like short head-to-head dashes around a pyloned course with spe

uAvionix Needs Canadian Volunteers

uAvionix is hard at work obtaining an STC for their tailBeacon X – a Mode S ADS-B Out transponder integrated with WAAS GPS into an LED rear position light. tailBeacon X is similar to their popular 978 MHz UAT product in the U.S., but it is optimized for space-based ADS-B surveillance (Aireon and others) and is intended to meet or exceed surveillance performance of transponders with antenna diversity at significantly less cost and installation effort. They wish to address the Canadian airspace requirement for space-based ADS-B OUT.

Part of their STC process is to collect operational data and, to this effect, uAvionix will be conducting flight testing in Canada in the near future. COPA and uAvionix are in discussions to facilitate this process.

Since the product is not certified yet, the project will be executed on amateur-built (non-certified) aircraft. COPA and uAvionix are seeking a number of aircraft pilots/owners who would be willing to participate in this test program. The details are well on their way to being finalized. The information available at this point include:

  • uAvionix would provide a complete system with installation guidance
  • uAvioinx would provide a data logger for installation in the aircraft
  • the pilot would fly a number of flights, typically of one-hour duration or more
  • the pilot will need to fly a minimum number of flights during that period (to be determined)
  • the pilot would enter data in a dedicated website link for uAvionix analysis
  • the test program aims to be completed by the end of Feb 2020 (an aggressive schedule)
  • at completion of the flight test program, the participants would get to keep the equipment, except the data logger, as a gift in appreciation of their support to this effort


This is PRELIMINARY only; many details are yet to be confirmed. The purpose of this notice is to inform pilots/owners of this upcoming event and to canvass our community for their interest in participating in this effort.

Interested pilots/owners are to signify such to Jean-Claude Audet as soon as possible, providing details of their type of aircraft, the area in Canada where they live, the type of flying they typically do, etc. More information may be required later as the project definition is more complete.

Runway Determination at Flight Service Stations

On November 7, 2019 Nav Canada issued AIC 41/19 to inform pilots of a change that became effective on November 20, 2019, where Flight Service Specialists (FS) will determine the ‘runway in use’. As per AIC 41/19, this change will be effective at aerodromes where wind equipment is located at the aerodrome for which the FS is providing Airport Advisory Services (AAS) or Remote Airport Advisory Services (RAAS).

The intent of the change is to address numerous safety reports and pilot requests to have the FS determine the runway in use to provide a safe and consistent traffic pattern that will avoid frequency congestion and complexity due to coordination for crossing or opposite-end runway operations. Also, COPA has confirmed that pilots will be able to coordinate the use of a runway that is not advertised with the FS, should traffic and weather permit.


The phraseology associated with the determination of runway will change from “PREFERRED” and “ACTIVE” runways to “RUNWAY”.

Please review AIC 41/19 appended below for more information.

Photo credit: Nav Canada

AIC 41-19 EN

Another Avro Arrow Project Getting Off the Ground

A full-size replica of the famed Avro CF-105 Arrow will again grace the skies above Malton, Ontario, albeit at an altitude of only a few feet and as a static display. The City of Mississauga, together with the Malton Business Improvement Association (BIA), will solicit donations from businesses and the public, as well as federal grants, to add to its own contributions in order to fund the $3.6 million project.

Paul Coffey Park, already host to the static display of an Avro CF-100 Canuck in its developing Flight Garden, will be the site of what the City is referring to as a sculpture. The Malton BIA will take on the responsibility of organizing the fabrication and installation of the replica, which will be built in situ in the park.

The Arrow was a Canadian-designed supersonic interceptor that never saw production. The project was cancelled by the federal government, led by John Diefenbaker, on February 20, 1959, a move that continues to be controversial to this day. All prototypes and demonstrators, along with tooling and blueprints, were subsequently destroyed.

Meantime, the construction of a 2/3-scale flying model of the Arrow, dubbed the Arrow II, continues at Springbank airport (CYBW) near Calgary, Alberta. That project is led by Calgary’s Avro Museum.

Five New Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) has announced the names of four Canadians and an airplane that will be inducted into the organization at a gala event to be held in Calgary, Alberta on June 4, 2020.

The Canadians pending induction include Clifford Mackay McEwan (b. 1898 in Griswald, Manitoba, d.1967 in Montreal, Quebec), Joseph D. Randell (b. 1954 in Curling, Newfoundland), Shirley Linda Render (b. 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Byarni Valdimar Tryggvason (b. 1945 in Reykjavik, Iceland). The non-human soon-to-be inductee is the Red Knight, a solo air show performer that the Royal Canadian Air Force operated from 1958 to 1969.

Clifford Mackay McEwan

McEwan initially joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps. Most of his war-time flying was in Italy. In the later years of the war, McEwan joined the incipient Canadian Air Force in England, where he remained with the then-renamed Royal Canadian Air Force. McEwan continued to serve the RCAF during the Second World War, eventually attaining the rank of Air Vice-Marshall.

Joseph D. Randell

Randell is currently the president and CEO of Chorus Aviation, owners of Jazz Aviation. After obtaining an MBA in 1984, one that was focussed on the business of aviation, Randell’s work led to his founding of Air Nova in 1986. He presided over the transition from turboprops to a fleet that also included regional jets. Air Canada eventually bought Air Nova, leaving Randell to pursue other opportunities related to airline mergers. In 2006 Air Canada Jazz was sprung from the reorganization of Air Canada after its declaration of bankruptcy, later reorganized as a division of Chorus Aviation.

Shirley Linda Render

A pilot since earning her wings at the age of thirty, Render began volunteering at Manitoba’s Western Canadian Aviation Museum, where she penned many contributions for its magazine. Later, as a museum board member, Render obtained an MA in history and subsequently wrote two aviation-themed non-fiction books. In 1990 she entered politics, eventually becoming a cabinet minister in Manitoba. After leaving politics in 2002, Render returned to the museum, then in difficulty, and turned around its fortunes.

Byarni Valdimar Tryggvason

Tryggvason, fascinated by aviation at a young age, joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in Richmond, British Columbia. By the age of 20, he had already obtained his commercial pilot licence, adding an instructor rating in 1982. Although initially setting a goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot, Tryggvason’s life took various turns and he eventually applied to become, and was accepted as, a member of Canada’s astronaut corps. Tryggvason made it to space in 1997 as a mission specialist on STS-85. He continues his passion for aviation by flying vintage aircraft; in 2009 he flew a replica of the Silver Dart, the first aircraft to fly in Canada.

The Red Knight

For most of its time appearing before audiences in over 600 airshows across the continent, the aircraft utilized as The Red Knight was a Canadair CT-133 Silver Star, painted red (pictured above). During the last year of the act (1969), the Silver Star was replaced with a Canadair CT-114 Tutor. The Red Knight flew at various times as a solo act alongside the RCAF Golden Hawks and the Golden Centennaires and was fondly remembered for its many appearances at events held in smaller, out-of-the-way communities not served by the bigger teams.

Industry Announces Canada’s First Airline Cadet Program

CAE, Jazz Aviation and Seneca College have jointly announced the creation of a pilot training program that will take appropriate pilot candidates and train them to the point where they will be qualified to fly CRJ200s and, subject to certain conditions, be welcomed into Jazz as first officers. The first graduates are expected to join Jazz by the end of 2021.

Contributing to the uniqueness of this program is that the training will follow the ab initio model; program candidates are recruited based on their academic profile and aptitude for piloting, among other things; possession of any kind of a pilot licence is not required for acceptance into the program. The program will deliver to Jazz Aviation pilots in possession of their Airline Transport Pilot Licence with both Instrument and multi-engine ratings.

This follows pilot training models used by some European and Asian airlines located in countries where General Aviation does not have a large presence and/or pool of experienced pilots to draw upon.

The training will not come cheap, though. Cost of the program is $126,000 plus applicable taxes, although CAE is lobbying for government contributions to bring that cost down for the student. Canadian citizenship or permanent residency is required, as is a post-secondary degree, diploma or equivalent.

CAE (formerly known as Canadian Aviation Electronics) is a leading manufacturer of flight advanced simulators used by airlines around the world. CAE also provides turnkey flight training services to many of their clients.

“CAE creates over 1,500 new pilots yearly in over 30 cadet training programs globally, and we are thrilled to add a first Canadian cadet pilot training program to our list of curricula,” said Nick Leontidis, head of civil aviation training for CAE.

Jazz Aviation, owned by Chorus Aviation of Halifax, operates 660 flights daily to 59 destinations in Canada and 25 in the United States, mostly co-branded as Air Canada Express. More than 5000 people are employed by the regional airline.

“For Jazz, this innovative initiative will be an expansion of our Jazz Aviation Pathways Program (Jazz APP) and provides yet another avenue for future generations of pilots to launch their careers in aviation,” said Steve Linthwaite, Jazz’s vice-president for flight operations.

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is an Ontario government post-secondary institution with multiple campuses in the Toronto region. The college’s aviation program is based at their satellite campus at the Peterborough airport (CYPQ).

“The Jazz Approach program is another opportunity for Seneca to be on the forefront of flight training in Canada,” said Lynne McMullen of Seneca’s School of Aviation.

Photo credit: Seneca College