COPA continues to lobby the government and advocate on behalf of our members regarding the proposed luxury tax. The draft proposal unfairly harms the aerospace industry and GA community, still recovering from the effects of the pandemic.


Short of removing aircraft altogether from the proposed new legislation, COPA is urging the government to adopt the following recommendations:


  1. Raise the baseline
    • $100,000 is unrealistic and should be raised to $5,000,000, a more acceptable value that is representative of an aircraft that might actually be considered luxurious (a $600,000 Cessna 172 single engine often used for training is hardly that) and should be indexed with inflation.
  1. Put a cap on the Luxury Tax
    • The Luxury Tax should be subject to a maximum amount of $1 million (i.e. the Luxury Tax would be capped for acquisitions of aircraft at a cost in excess of $10 million) so as to promote compliance and not stifle the benefits of aircraft up-grading (i.e., safety and emissions benefits) even in the case of recreational use.
  2. Simplify the process
    • Acquiring and maintaining a Tax Certificate for the life of the aircraft is onerous. Set a one-time only process on new aircraft only, at the raised baseline. Once the aircraft becomes used, regardless of its activity, it would not be subject to this luxury tax. CRA tracking would only require a one-time entry in the federal registry without the annual and transfer of ownership tracking costs and administration.
  3. Develop a “Fly Green” exemption
    • Lower emission aircraft that use lead-free fuels or electric aircraft should be exempt, regardless of cost or activity. This will incentivise owners to purchase newer and greener aircraft. This will not only reduce the Canadian carbon footprint but stimulate the economy as set Canada as a world leader in promoting innovative green technology.
  4. Use depreciated aircraft values
    • If a CRA tax in certificate is required for all aircraft, new and used, as proposed, with a manufacture date of greater than 2018, swap “fair value” for depreciated value when transfers of ownership occur (as with cars and boats) to limit the long-range impact of the Luxury Tax.
  5. Remove the Tax on improvement
    • To provide aircraft owners incentive to upgrade to ever changing safety requirements, any tax on improvement should be removed. Equipping an aircraft to meet safety requirements should never be considered luxury and should never be subject to luxury tax.


To read the full letter to the Finance Department, please click here.


A Primer for the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association
By Glenn Grenier, Co-Chair Aviation, McMillan LLP, 2022

This Primer (updated and expanded from a similar article published in 2018) is intended to assist the reader in understanding what is meant by the exclusive federal jurisdiction over aeronautics, its extent and limits, and review cases where provincial/municipal officials have (or have not) been found to have encroached in terms of impermissibly attempting to regulate aeronautical activities. In doing so, readers will look at cases concerned with, for example, the location of aerodromes (which term includes heliports and water aerodromes), the construction of hangars, carrying on aeronautical businesses, noise and environmental concerns.

To read more, please click here.


After some delays, COPA has received the latest version of the Aircraft Owners and 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


NAV CANADA has now published a NOTICE OF AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE – BROADCAST OUT PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS MANDATE IN CANADIAN DOMESTIC AIRSPACE (AIC 2/22) – mandating the equipage of ADS-B in Class A and B airspace commencing 23 February 2023, and no earlier than 2026 in Class C, D, and E airspace. The requirement on Class A and B airspace is intended to be enabled through airspace classification designation and an amendment to transponder airspace requirements, as described in the Designated Airspace Handbook (DAH), TP 1820E. 

Transport Canada has indicated to COPA that consultation on the changes to existing standards for Class A and B airspace will be held in the fall of 2022 for the change intended in February 2023. COPA and industry partners believe this timing is too short to allow any meaningful consultation or changes to the proposed mandate. NAV CANADA and Transport Canada have both indicated that further consultation is intended before changes in Class C, D and E airspace will be implemented. Timing for this additional consultation has not been communicated. TC has also indicated that CARs changes are likely before implementation in Class C, D and E airspace yet continues to indicate that CARs changes are not necessary for changes to Class A and B airspace. 

COPA and 12 additional aviation associations have indicated their concerns with both the mandate and the process used by Transport Canada to implement the announced changes. A joint industry letter was sent to the Minister of Transport in March 2022 indicating the concerns with the mandate and the request for further dialogue and consultation before any changes are implemented. 

The main areas of concern with the mandate, as published, are:

  1. Under what authority is the mandate being enabled? Is this a NAV CANADA or Transport Canada mandate?
  2. Lack of regulatory consultation and process
  3. Short notice of consultation before February 2023 deadline
  4. Different processes/requirements to enable changes to Class A and B airspace versus changes to Class C, D and E?
  5. The requirement to transmit to space and ground receivers (It is understood some ground-based infrastructure is needed for the system to operate safely.)
  6. The difficulty of industry to equip to meet 2023 deadline
  7. Costs to equip ($10-15,000 CAD per aircraft)
  8. Lack of Cost-Benefit analysis for the aviation community
  9. Misalignment with US system – access and cost impacts to cross-border operations (978UAT and 1090ES Ground-based not compliant in Canada.)
  10. Safety and security issues with ADS-B system and ADS-B reliance on GPS.

COPA continues to advocate change to the published mandate to ensure that ADS-B deployment balances costs in the industry and is based on a comprehensive surveillance strategy that leverages ground-based infrastructure to complement space-based ADS-B, and supports potential benefits to all stakeholders that may be realized from a combined system.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.