AOPA CROSS-BORDER GUIDE

After some delays, COPA has received the latest version of the American Owners Pilots Association (AOPA) Guide (version 8) Guide for Cross-Border Flying. The perspective of the document is USA-centric, covering flights outbound from the USA and returning. The images of USA Airports of Entry are southern-focused but the procedures and information sources are equally applicable for northern destinations in Canada.

For COPA this perspective is not problematic to our intended use. Flights from Canada to the USA or beyond to the Caribbean or Mexico will still need to comply with all of the procedures and regulations that govern flights to the USA.

For Canadians returning to Canada, the advice in this excellent document is equivalent to what AOPA is telling their members they need to depart their home airfields. The document is easy to follow and provides all of the information in a very user-friendly format.

COPA welcomes this new version of the AOPA document and commends it for reading and thorough study to all Members who are planning a flight to the USA or beyond in the coming months.

The document can be accessed via the link here.

JASPER NATIONAL PARK

COPA was advised that Jasper National Park, administered by Parks Canada, undertook a review of the requirements to maintain an aerodrome as part of the Park’s infrastructure. COPA has publicly supported the continued existence of this airfield in the past and we are very aware that the seasonal-use grass airstrip at the eastern edge of the Town of Jasper is a vital link in the regional network of aerodromes in the Foothills area of Alberta.

COPA made this point to the Jasper National Park Superintendent in the letter that was sent to him. We also reminded the Superintendent that the aerodrome is used for Medical evacuations to trauma centres and is also an access point for eco-tourists using smaller non-commercial aircraft. The document can be accessed via the link here.

COPA received a response letter on September 27th, 2021 from the Jasper National Park Office of the Superintendent. The letter stated that they are currently reviewing all feedback that they gathered in regards to the 2020 Jasper National Park Draft Management Plan and their office will publish a report in the coming months with a summary of the feedback. The letter can be read here.

TC CARAC NOTICE OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT (NPA) – VFR WEATHER MINIMUMS

COPA submitted a consolidated response to CARAC – the TC Policy department – to register our concerns and objections regarding the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) regarding Visual Meteorological Conditions for VFR Flight.

The NPA evolved from a flawed consultation process that did not seek inputs from anyone outside of the commercial helicopter community. COPA was not consulted. As a result of a heavily biased approach, the NPA was suggesting that the solution to preventing further accidents while flying at night was to not only revise the definitions for night VFR but also to propose that Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) such as Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) would be part of a two-tiered solution.

COPA advised CARAC that this proposal was reliant on unproven technology, would be preposterously expensive but would also come with an onerous training requirement. It would, therefore, severely restrict GA night operations for those who did not have access to this technology. COPA made several recommendations, many of which concluded that COPA should be part of any initial discussions regarding changes in night VFR minimum weather requirements.

Most importantly, COPA did not accept the amendments to CARs 602.11 and 602.115 as proposed because the risks of night flying would not be eliminated. COPA also concluded that TC must rightfully engage with COPA on aircraft equipage, pilot training, PDM, proficiency, and any other proposed regulatory amendments that impact general aviators’ freedom to fly.

Read COPA’s response here.

COPA RESPONSE TO PROPOSED LUXURY TAX

With the return of the Liberal Party to run a minority Government, the Federal Budget Implementation Act, Bill C-30, will almost certainly be implemented at the beginning of 2022.

Recently the Finance Department sought advice and comments from stakeholders, such as COPA on the Luxury Tax component of the Bill. COPA took the opportunity to provide input on how the Government could reduce the impact of the Luxury Tax on General Aviation (GA) and gave specific recommendations on how to prevent a collapse of the privately registered recreational aircraft market in Canada.

COPA recommended raising the entry point of the Tax from $100K to at least $600K. We are also recommending a one-time application of the tax to simplify transfers of ownership. COPA is also recommending a “GO GREEN” initiative that would waive the Tax on lower emission and electric-powered aircraft. This last point would not only help to make GA and recreational flying more environmentally friendly but would also encourage made-in-Canada aircraft in the Light Sport sectors of the aviation community.

The letter to the Finance Department is available to all our members here.

BASICMED

Medical Appointment Doctor - Free photo on PixabayIn a consolidated effort to advocate for the acceptance of BasicMed pilots’ ability to enter into and operate in Canadian airspace, the COPA and AOPA have authored a joint letter to the Canadian Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Algbara. Read the full text of the letter to the Minister here.

The letter urges this acceptance based on the safe record of BasicMed Pilots and the fact that many American aviators do want to travel to Canada for a variety of purposes. COPA and AOPA want to remove this barrier to travel for thousands of US GA pilots.

COPA is also working with TCCA CAME staff to revamp the Category 4 medical certificate with the hope that it can eventually become recognized by the FAA so that holders would be able to operate Certified, Amateur-Built, and Limited-class aircraft in the United States.

OWEN SOUND UPDATE: CAMPAIGN TO SAVE CYOS AIRPORT

It was announced on October 29th, 2021 that the Billy Bishop Airport (CYOS) has been sold to Clayton Smith, a pilot with experience in airport ownership and operation. Mr. Smith plans to expand and improve CYOS and continue with the uninterrupted and ongoing operations of hangar ground leases and ORNGE – the transport of medical patients.

COPA would like to congratulate Jim Farmer and Gordon Price for their hard work and dedication to saving the Owen Sound Airport.

The full update can be read here and the Save Owen Sound Airport Facebook page continues to remain active during this transition.

UPDATE ON 10-YEAR PROPELLER OVERHAULS

shutterstock_176833685TCCA Operational Airworthiness thoroughly analyzed and reviewed the data received from propellor manufacturers and FAA sources and concluded that there was too much risk of a system failure due to corrosion in critical blade retention components if the current limit of ten years was extended further. One small compromise was provided in that the current limits published in CARS Standard 625; Appendix C could be extended up to 10%. TCCA IPB 2020-11 and a Draft Industry Memo have been published by TCCA Operational Airworthiness staff within the last year that gives technical details on how to request the 10% extension. You can request a download of the IPB 2020-11 document here. The TCCA download system requires that you provide your email address. You will receive two emails from TCCA, one of these two emails will have the requested PDF document as an attachment.

UPDATE ON NAV CANADA AERONAUTICAL STUDIES

In late July 2021, NAV CANADA finally confirmed the complete list of sites where Level of Service reviews which were ongoing, are now postponed for the foreseeable future. This is excellent news for all of the affected communities, airports and aerodromes that would have very likely seen a reduction in the level of service.

The postponed list includes the following airports, from west to east:

Port Hardy, BC; Castelgar, BC; Prince George, BC; Fort St. John, BC; Fort Nelson, BC; Peace River, AB; High Level, AB; Fort McMurray, AB; Lloydminster, AB; Buffalo Narrows, SK; Regina, SK; Prince Albert, SK; Brandon, MB; Dauphin, MB; Flin Flon, MB; The Pas, MB; Sault Ste Marie, ON; Windsor, ON; Saint Jean, QC; Sept-Iles, QC; and Sydney, NS.

The suspended studies are listed below.

COPA is very pleased to announce that because NAV CANADA is very optimistic that increased air traffic levels are “just around the corner” it, therefore, makes sense from a staffing workload perspective to suspend many more studies that were begun in Fall 2020. We can confirm that the Studies for Whitehorse Tower, Churchill FSS, Inuvik FSS, Norman Wells FSS, Kuujjuarapik RAAS, Blanc Sablon RAAS, and Natashquan RAAS, are being suspended. The studies for these sites were suspended because of the CANSCA northern or remote status.

Aeronautical Studies that were started in 2021 for Abbottsford and Nanaimo, as a result of the Vancouver Area Modernization Program, are safety-related and will therefore continue. An Aeronautical study concerning Primary Surveillance RADARs (PSRs) at seventeen sites across Canada has also recently commenced and COPA will be engaging with NAV CANADA regarding the potential impacts on GA flight operations. We will invite member inputs once COPA completes initial discussions with NAV CANADA.

RESPONSE TO THE NAV CANADA PROPOSED LEVEL OF SERVICE CHANGES

COPA has addressed a letter to the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, to urge the Government of Canada to support air navigation services in Canada throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. COPA indicated the importance of the 30 locations currently under review, noting that their closure would impact the post-pandemic recovery and could cause an increase in aviation incidents and accidents.

In addition to this, COPA has sent separate letters to NAV CANADA expressing concerns with the proposed changes in levels of service. Thank you all for the valuable feedback you provided to assist us in our response.

LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR THE CONTINUED OPERATIONS OF THE OSHAWA AIRPORT

Earlier in 2020 COPA addressed a letter to the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, to show support to the Oshawa Executive Airport regarding the surrounding resident noise complaints, specially targeted at flight training. The City of Oshawa leadership has taken steps to make it clear to all that they consider the noise associated with flight training operations at the airport to be a significant problem.

On February 8, 2021, at approximately 17:10 the Oshawa City Council members in attendance voted unanimously to direct the Airport Manager, in consultation with the Commissioner of Development Services, to engage a qualified, independent consultant with the familiarity of the requirements of Transport Canada Advisory Circular 302-002 to manage the process that would result in the creation of TC-controlled Noise Abatement procedures at the Oshawa Airport. The City has committed to spending up to $60,000 exclusive of H.S.T to complete this project. The various stages of the process (11 in total) detailed in the Advisory Circular are designed to ensure that equity and fairness are observed and that consultation with the affected parties is completed.

SUPPORT FOR GOLDEN AIRPORT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

COPA is very pleased to announce that the efforts to advise the municipal leadership that airports such as theirs are a viable engine of growth and prosperity have resulted in the good news.

The Town of Golden commissioned a comprehensive review of the Golden Airport in 2019, retaining HM Aero Aviation Consulting. Click here for more information. HM Aero Aviation Consulting presented its plan in March 2021.

At the end of July 2021, the Federal Government announced that under the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) nearly $12 million will go towards helping 11 regional airports across B.C. recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The Golden Airport, as well as the airports in Comox, Sidney, Bella Coola, Nanaimo, Kamloops, and Cassidy, will receive funding.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

The current COVID-19 pandemic has taken a drastic toll on aviation operations in Canada and around the world. To mitigate some of the effects and ensure the best outcomes for GA pilots, COPA has been working closely with an industry working group to advocate for what we believe are necessary programs and exemptions.

You can read our Joint Aviation Leadership letter to P.M. Justin Trudeau here. Many such exemptions have already been put in place, the full list is available on the Transport Canada website for COVID-19 aviation updates. As aviation activities resume, we also recommend consulting our GA aircraft disinfecting tips when returning to flight training or aircraft renting.

COPA ELT ADVOCACY

In November 2020 Transport Canada was permitted to implement a significant change to CARs concerning the application of the 406 ELT for all aircraft flying in Canadian airspace. In brief, except for local flights that do not go beyond 25 nm from the point of origin, and for specific types of aircraft such as gliders, balloons, ultralights and gyrocopters, the rest of the operators must have a properly installed 406 ELT fitted to their aircraft(s) by November 2021 for commercial operators, and November 2025 for private, recreational operators.

While COPA’s position remains that this locating technology has a poor track record of activation in a crash to be able to broadcast its position, we are satisfied that most GA operators will have several years to comply. COPA favours the adoption of new and emerging technologies, such as ADS-B (see below), to serve as a reliable and more effective alternative. COPA’s president has written several op-eds in various media on this topic. If your aircraft has an ADS-B Out system with antenna diversity, you can help us to gather data on the topic. Fill out your information here if you are equipped or share this form with someone who is.

ADS-B MANDATE IN CANADA

Under the original plan mandate ADS-B equipage in Canadian airspace, General Aviation aircraft fell under Phase III of Nav Canada’s proposed ADS-B mandate. Under the original schedule, this phase would have begun no sooner than 2023 and was subject to additional stakeholder consultations and the advent of additional benefits for GA, neither of which has occurred. The proposal as it currently stands lays out a requirement for ADS-B equipage in aircraft operating in A and B airspace, however, those timelines have also shifted and have yet to be shared with stakeholders.

Outside of Class F and G airspace, all aircraft operating in controlled airspace will need to be equipped with certified 1090ES ADS-B Out including antenna diversity, although proof of its necessity has also not been tested and shared with stakeholders. COPA continues to have reservations over several aspects of the performance requirements as well as the cost/safety benefits that will come with the implementation of space-based ADS-B. You can review our original position on ADS-B here.

One of the most debatable issues for general aviation aircraft equipage is the requirement for antenna diversity. By current definitions, this requirement can only be satisfied by installing two emitting antennae in two locations., typically, a roof-mounted and belly-mounted installation. In all aircraft, this is a very expensive proposition (close to $15,000 CAD) but in addition, for some GA aircraft, this dual mounting can be expensive. There is however an increasing amount of reliable data that most smaller GA aircraft can provide very satisfactory reporting with one tail-mounted dipole antenna. This is a step in the right direction that can assist in resolving this thorny and expensive issue.

COPA was recently advised by Transport Canada that NAV CANADA continues to evolve its mandate for ADS-B equipage in low-level controlled airspace. Although, as mentioned earlier, no new consultations have taken place with any stakeholders, the new proposed date for ADS-B mandate implementation is “not before 2026.” This has not been shared in any public capacity. This new date recognizes that performance requirements along with equipage specifications are not yet finalized.

Pilots should note that equipment meeting the FAA’s 2020 mandate for 978UAT (ground-based) ADS-B will not be compliant in Canadian airspace. Also, at present the one tail-mounted system, uAvionix tailBeaconX has demonstrated similar performance to a diversity transponder setup. A report on the results of recent trials using the Aireon space-based ADS-B orbital network can be found here.

ADS-B’S FUTURE PLACE IN SAR

See this presentation on how satellite-based ADS-B can be the perfect SAR enhancement and potentially replace the requirement for a 406MHz ELT.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF GENERAL AVIATION IN CANADA

Click here to read COPA’s 2017 study that highlights the economic impact General Aviation contributes to Canadian communities and to the national economy. The study, compiled by Vancouver-based InterVISTAS, estimates that General Aviation operations in Canada contribute $9.3 billion in economic output nationally and directly accounts for almost 36,000 full-time jobs in communities across the country. The report also highlights the benefits that General Aviation operations bring to communities in terms of tax revenues, direct, and indirect employment.

AERODROME DEVELOPMENT

shutterstock_462029731On January 1st, 2017, the rules for building a new aerodrome or airport in Canada changed significantly when CAR 307 – Aerodromes – Consultations came into effect. Both new aerodromes and making substantial modifications to an existing aerodrome were impacted by these new regulations.

As a result of these dramatic changes, COPA and TCCA collaborated to clarify the new consultation process. An amplifying Advisory Circular, AC 307-001, was issued later that year and became effective November 10, 2017.

Anyone who is considering creating a new private aerodrome or modifying an existing aerodrome must follow the mandatory Consultation process. All are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with this process. A link to this important Advisory Circular can be found here.

REMOTE PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (RPAS)

shutterstock_560504689Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) has recently issued two very important Advisory Circulars (ACs) for RPAS operators and constructors.

The first AC is AC 903-001. It focuses on providing manufacturers and operators with guidance on how to complete an RPAS Operational Risk Assessment. This document offers guidance for assessing the risks associated with one or more of the operating situations listed in CAR 903.01. These situations require a risk assessment for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) – RPAS application. The link to request a download from the TCCA library is here.

The second AC is AC 903-002. It focuses on providing operators with more guidance on how to and when a Special Flight Operating Certificate (SFOC) is required for RPAS flight operations. Again, CAR 903.01 requires that an SFOC-RPAS be issued for certain circumstances which Part IX of the CARs does not yet regulate.

An SFOC – RPAS permits operations of an RPAS for a specific purpose, location and time frame. The link to the TCCA online PDF document is here.

COPA strongly encourages ALL RPAS operators to review both of these advisory documents before flight operations are carried out. Safety of Flight is paramount and our members are ambassadors for the smooth integration of RPAS flights with traditional aircraft operations.

Be sure to visit COPA’s RPAS page to learn more.

DRONE ZONE NEWSLETTER

Every two months, the Transport Canada RPAS Team puts out a newsletter called the Drone Zone. The newsletter features recent updates, safety reminders and the number of registered drones in Canada and RPAS pilot certificates issued by Transport Canada.

To read the most recent version, click here. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, click on this link to subscribe.