September 22, 2022

Alberta COPA Award recipients honoured

Jon Robinson

— By Ken Zachkewich, AB/NWT Director, Western Vice Chair, COPA

Each year at the COPA Fly-in and Convention, COPA recognizes its members or groups who exemplify our mission statement to advance, promote, and preserve the Canadian freedom to fly. Unfortunately, not all recipients are able to attend the fly-in event. This past summer, as a COPA Regional Director, I was able to meet with some of the recipients in Alberta and present them with their awards.

The John Bogie Memorial Award is presented to any aviation company, organization, individual, government agency or department that has raised the image of aviation, piloted and remotely piloted. The Alberta Air Tour Committee was recognized for this award for its efforts to bring general aviation to communities throughout Alberta. Through their efforts, Shane Getson, Scott Holmes, Dina Jammaz, and Eldon Gdjesdal of the Air Tour team share aviation with the public and municipal governments.

Building on their successes of 2020 and 2021, the group expanded in 2022 to invite more executive members, including myself. Also, the Alberta Air Tour Committee has since formed a COPA Flight, further uniting their missions.

My Director’s Award for 2021 was given to an individual who was keenly involved with the Alberta Air Tours. Shane Getson is a sitting Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly. As a private pilot, he brings concerns and ambitions of the Alberta aerospace sector to the provincial government. I had the pleasure of presenting his award while meeting with the Alberta Air Tour Committee during planning for the 2022 tours at the Villeneuve Airport.

A COPA Appreciation Award was presented as a surprise to Wetaskiwin COPA Flight 51 member Jeff Deuchar. Each July, the flight organizes a camping fly-out to the Hinton Entrance Airport on the doorsteps of the Rocky Mountains. I was able to surprise Jeff with his recognition at the camp-out. He was recognized for his efforts to share general aviation with youth and the general public.

A COPA Appreciation Award was presented to Sophia Wells at a pancake breakfast held at the Villeneuve Airport in August. In attendance were government officials who heard how one of the youngest CFI’s in Canada works to promote aviation through her volunteer efforts with Elevate Aviation.

Congratulations to all the COPA Award winners!