Who we are
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 any kind in Canada.
To Advance, Promote, and Preserve the Canadian Freedom to Fly
We are the influential driving force for a safe and thriving general aviation community in Canada.
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.
The COPA Flight Safety Foundation, founded in 1973 to promote flight safety in the field of general aviation, collects donations from across the country to sponsor COPA’s safety-related initiatives, including COPA’s Scholarship Program. The foundation is entirely funded through the generous donations of our members and the aviation community.
Due to the wide variety of challenges and obstacles faced by the general aviation community, COPA created a fund to solicit contributions that are used to fund legal actions at all levels and projects of national importance vital to the future of general aviation. To date, the COPA Freedom to Fly Fund has provided more than approximately one million to secure general aviation’s future in Canada.
COPA is also active at the grassroots level, with over 200 regional and local chapters which constitute the COPA Flights. The first flight was formed in Guelph in 1964 and today the program boasts flights in every province and two territories. The COPA Flights are an essential component to the success of the COPA Discover Aviation Program which introduces general aviation to thousands of kids and adults each year and is a vital component of our collective outreach and promotion within the broader community.
Through COPA’s Scholarship Program, several worthy candidates are awarded scholarships to offset the costs of flight training, both piloted and remotely piloted aircraft.
Today we are proud to represent over 12,000 members in every province and territory who recognize the need for strong, effective representation resting on our core principles of integrity, commitment, discovery, unity and leadership. 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.