Canada’s voice for General Aviation



About our association

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) is a federally registered not-for-profit association that provides information and advocacy services for Canadian pilots who fly for non-commercial purposes. COPA represents 12,000 members which ranks us as the largest aviation association of its kind in Canada.

The association is made-up of 200 COPA Flight chapters that organize events and that meet regularly across Canada.

Our mission: To Advance, Promote, and Preserve the Canadian Freedom to Fly
Our vision: We are the influential driving force for a safe and thriving general aviation community in Canada.



National scope, international reach
COPA is a member of the IAOPA (the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association). This nonprofit federation is made up of 100 nongovernmental, national general aviation organizations and has existed since 1962.


Why members join

  • COPA is the only association in Canada that advocates for General Aviation needs across the country. Without COPA, there would be no voice representing personal aviation issues at a national level.
  • COPA is the only association for General Aviation pilots and enthusiasts alike. Whether you have a licence or not, whether you own an aircraft or not – what unites our community is a mutual passion for General Aviation.

Our history

COPA’s heritage is an important part of our identity as a community and the same mission that led to our organizations founding in 1952 guides us to this day as we continue to advance, promote, and preserve the Canadian freedom to fly.


  • COPA launches a new member hub which includes a private discussion forum as well as the In-Flight Podcast.
  • After a successful two years of online safety seminars, COPA examines best practices for online learning. As a result, COPA launches the COPA Aviation Academy, the first e-learning platform of its kind, fully dedicated to the flying community in Canada.
  • COPA begins hosting monthly online safety seminars as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a need to keep pilots current while grounded. Topics ranged from aircraft ownership to search and rescue to seasonal flying. Anywhere from 400-1200 live attendees would participate in these online events on a regular basis.
  • By 1997, there were over forty COPA Flights fostering recreational aviation in local communities across Canada.
  • The newspaper, which had become the largest aviation publication in Canada, was renamed "Canadian Flight." At that time, COPA began publishing its "Canadian Flight Annual", a unique directory of information for flying in Canada.
  • COPA agreed to supply the Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada with a monthly newspaper. COPA assumed the administration of the Canadian Seaplane Association in 1996. The administration of the Canadian Seaplane Association continued until 2022.
  • The COPA Flight Safety Foundation, funded by member donations, was established to assist the promotion of pilot safety through seminars and a Flight Safety Bulletin published in Canadian Flight.
  • A network of local chapters of COPA, called COPA Flights, was started in 1964. The first flight was formed in Guelph and today the program boasts flights in every province and two territories.
  • In 1964, COPA started a monthly newspaper called "Canadian General Aviation News". Over the next 30 years, the newspaper expanded to become a forum for all general aviation in Canada from ultralight flying to corporate aviation.
  • In 1957, COPA formed the first volunteer civilian search and rescue organization, called the Emergency Air Corps. In the early 1960's, COPA assisted with the formation and the initial administration of the Canadian Business Aircraft Association.
  • One of COPA's main functions is the dissemination of aviation information to its members. In 1954, COPA began publishing a monthly COPA newsletter and a magazine titled "Canadian Flight".
  • The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association was founded in 1952 to speak as the unified voice for general aviation in Canada. Since then, COPA has grown to meet the ever-changing needs of the Canadian aviation community.