Category Archives: COPA at Work

Ottawa Mandates 10% Aircraft Tax

On December 13 the prime minister presented his ministers with their mandate letters. With little more information than what we have seen in their respective letters, we unfortunately see that the finance minister has a mandate to introduce a 10 percent tax on ‘Luxury Items’ including personal aircraft of over $100,000. The letters can be found at the following links for Transport and Finance.

Right now, COPA doesn’t have any more details than what we published in our November 7 eFlight. Rest assured that we will be working against this in coordination with the other aviation associations.

In the meantime, you can start by writing to the Minister of Finance and copy us and your MP. We have provided a form letter; you only have to fill in your and your MP’s name.

Contact details for MPs can be found on the Parliament of Canada website. Email addresses for MPs are generally formatted as Firstname.Lastname@parl.gc.ca.

If you are unsure about which riding you live in, you can search by postal code on Elections Canada’s website.

Letter against 10% tax aircraft

Flight-testing uAvionix tailBeacon X

COPA recently sought the interest of aircraft owners to participate in an ADS-B test program where uAvionix plans on testing their tailBeacon X (1090ES ADS-B OUT) in Canada on non-certificated aircraft. We quickly garnered in excess of 200 expressions of interest in this regard. Some of the interested owners have justifiably inquired about the status of this planned testing.

When we shared these numbers with uAvionix, they were overwhelmed with the level of interest. uAvionix is currently in the process of finalizing the details of their planned testing and have informed COPA that they will themselves carry out the selection of those who will be invited to participate in their tailBeacon X testing in Canada. To this effect, COPA has shared all such expressions of interest with uAvionix. We understand that uAvionix will contact the selected candidates directly to finalize some agreement with these selected owners.

At this point, COPA does not have any further information on the progress of this project. We thank all who expressed interest in the program and anticipate that uAvionix will inform us of their status in the near future.

Image above is of uAvionix’s tailBeacon, the American 978 UAT device. tailBeacon X will have both upward- and downward-facing antennae. Image credit: uAvionix

U.S. ADS-B Mandate

As we approach the January 1, 2020 implementation of the U.S.’s ADS-B mandate, we have been receiving questions from our members asking for clarification. Following is some useful information for you to be aware of, and a few links to the appropriate FAA website to answer any further questions.

COPA has confirmed that U.S. sovereign airspace delegated to Nav Canada will NOT require ADS-B.

For COPA members who have not installed an ADS-B transceiver and wish to fly into U.S. airspace following the January 1, 2020 ADS-B mandate implementation:

  • The same transponder and customs procedures to cross the border are in effect.
  • You must remain clear of U.S. ADS-B airspace; see Google Earth link below, or
  • Contact the FAA to request an exemption:
    • The FAA have created a website to apply for an exemption. They are working to have it active prior to January 1, 2020.
    • You must receive approval from all ATC facilities at least one (1) hour in advance of the flight.

Note: Be aware that a flight plan does not constitute approval from the ATC facility.

91.225   Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) OUT equipment and use.

(g) Requests for ATC authorized deviations from the requirements of this section must be made to the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the concerned airspace within the time periods specified as follows:

(1) For operation of an aircraft with an inoperative ADS-B Out, to the airport of ultimate destination, including any intermediate stops, or to proceed to a place where suitable repairs can be made or both, the request may be made at any time.

(2) For operation of an aircraft that is not equipped with ADS-B Out, the request must be made at least 1 hour before the proposed operation.

The FAA have provided a map that is accessed using Google Earth. Clicking here will download the map to your Google Earth application for you to see the U.S. ADS-B airspace.

For COPA members who have installed an ADS-B transceiver:

  • The same customs procedures to cross the border are in effect.
  • You do not need to prove certification of your ADS-B OUT transceiver to the FAA.
    • All certification and paperwork for your aircraft remain applicable to Transport Canada requirements.
  • If you live in an area of Canada that has U.S. ADS-B coverage, prior to entering U.S. airspace, click here to request an ADS-B Public Performance Report (PAPR):
    • The PAPR can only be obtained after flying in U.S. ADS-B airspace.
    • The FAA have indicated that there is no problem for a Canadian aircraft to fly into U.S. ADS-B airspace with a new ADS-B system without obtaining their first Performance Report beforehand.
    • The FAA recommend that after Jan 1, 2020, everyone testing their ADS-B system for the first time do so quickly.
    • That is, obtain the PAPR as soon as possible after the first flight, make any necessary corrections to the ADS-B system in a timely manner, and retest.

Additional ADS-B information can be found here.

If you have a specific question for the FAA, email them to receive a response.

Image credit: FAA

New Red Deer Control Zone Restrictions

On December 9, 2019, COPA and members of the Alberta Aviation Community were informed by Nav Canada that a NOTAM would be issued indicating a procedure change will be added to the CFS for CYQF. The NOTAM was effective December 10, 2019. COPA was not given much notice of the change and we will coordinate with Transport Canada and Nav Canada to voice our concerns with this approach and improve the communication process to avoid this issue in the future.

In an attempt to rectify safety concerns at CYQF, with approval from Transport Canada under CAR 602.96 (3)(D), the Flight Service Specialists providing service at CYQF will be authorized to restrict VFR aircraft from entering the Control Zone or from departing CYQF when necessary due to traffic volume or complexity. The overflight / itinerant traffic is not expected to be affected by this procedure change. The intent is to regulate the circuit traffic or traffic intending to enter the circuit at CYQF.

The phraseology that pilots should expect to hear from the Flight Service Specialists is contained in the table below for the different situations:





This is a major change to the operations at the CYQF Flight Service Station and COPA members operating in the vicinity of CYQF are reminded to be diligent as this new procedure is implemented. Following discussions with Transport Canada, COPA has confirmed that should a pilot not adhere to the issued restriction they could receive a regulatory infraction due to a violation of the CARs.

Photo copyright Nav Canada

Nav Canada Denial of Service

We would like to thank everyone who has made a submission with respect to a Nav Canada Denial of Service. Recently, COPA received questions regarding the intent so we would like to clarify our request.

The reason for seeking the details from COPA members regarding specific times that they experienced a Nav Canada Denial of Service is to allow us to provide factual data to Nav Canada with respect to the following:

  1. Congestion of airspace below Class C; when a NOTAM is issued to restrict access to the airspace, based on current airspace structures.
  2. Issues with the ongoing Nav Canada staffing and COPA members not being provided with services such as:
    1. Flight following
    2. Access to airspace
    3. Access into Control Zones
    4. Simulated IFR training
    5. Training flights
    6. Examination flights
  3. Other

Our intentions are to do away with anecdotal comments. This will allow us to move forward, address ongoing issues and find a mutually satisfactory resolution based on facts. We understand that this issue does not impact all COPA members, depending on their location. However, we are requesting COPA members who have been affected to provide us with the details of the situation.

The Nav Canada Denial of Service form remains on the COPA website. COPA will continue to gather the information and will remind everyone again in the busier spring and summer season.

Photo credit: Nav Canada

Thunder Bay (CYQT) International Airport Rate Increases

COPA was contacted by the Thunder Bay International Airport Authority (TBIAA) and asked to provide feedback regarding their proposed rate increases. COPA has reviewed the proposal and confirmed that there will be no rate increases or landing fees for piston aircraft operating at CYQT.

The FBO at CYQT is operated by a third party and is not part of these specific proposed rate increases by the TBIAA. Also, we have confirmed that our members should not be charged for parking by the TBIAA if the aircraft is parked at the FBO; the FBO is responsible for their parking fees. If you have been charged by both the FBO and the TBIAA, you are able to contact Kim Pressick in the TBIAA Accounts Receivable department at accountsreceivable@tbairport.on.ca or by phone at (807) 473-2605 to rectify the charges. 

CFPS and ICAO NOTAM Format Issues

COPA has been made aware of issues with the new NAV CANADA Collaborative FLight Planning Services (CFPS) and concerns with the ICAO NOTAM Format. We have contacted NAV CANADA and confirmed they are aware of issues with the mobile platforms for CFPS and they have informed us that they are working to rectify these issues; including the display of the Upper Winds. 


The ICAO format for NOTAM information will remain. This format standardizes Canada with global practices.  


We asked NAV CANADA if they planned to close the actual Aviation Weather Web Site (AWWS), and we were told that the AWWS will operate in parallel to CFPS until the new system has proven performance and become fully operational, with an approximate timeframe of late 2020. When they have removed the AWWS, the current links for AWWS will automatically direct you to CFPS for all applications. 

Through our conversations with NAV CANADA, COPA is scheduled on December 16th for a consultation meeting to discuss the requirements, improvements, provide feedback and to receive a demonstration of the newest software scheduled for release in the February-March timeframe next year. COPA will be providing IFR and VFR qualified pilots to participate at the meeting and ensure that NAV CANADA is aware of the needs of our members. 

COPA urges the membership to continue directing your concerns, comments and suggestions to service@navcanada.ca to improve on the products offered to pilots.

uAvionix Needs Canadian Volunteers

uAvionix is hard at work obtaining an STC for their tailBeacon X – a Mode S ADS-B Out transponder integrated with WAAS GPS into an LED rear position light. tailBeacon X is similar to their popular 978 MHz UAT product in the U.S., but it is optimized for space-based ADS-B surveillance (Aireon and others) and is intended to meet or exceed surveillance performance of transponders with antenna diversity at significantly less cost and installation effort. They wish to address the Canadian airspace requirement for space-based ADS-B OUT.

Part of their STC process is to collect operational data and, to this effect, uAvionix will be conducting flight testing in Canada in the near future. COPA and uAvionix are in discussions to facilitate this process.

Since the product is not certified yet, the project will be executed on amateur-built (non-certified) aircraft. COPA and uAvionix are seeking a number of aircraft pilots/owners who would be willing to participate in this test program. The details are well on their way to being finalized. The information available at this point include:

  • uAvionix would provide a complete system with installation guidance
  • uAvioinx would provide a data logger for installation in the aircraft
  • the pilot would fly a number of flights, typically of one-hour duration or more
  • the pilot will need to fly a minimum number of flights during that period (to be determined)
  • the pilot would enter data in a dedicated website link for uAvionix analysis
  • the test program aims to be completed by the end of Feb 2020 (an aggressive schedule)
  • at completion of the flight test program, the participants would get to keep the equipment, except the data logger, as a gift in appreciation of their support to this effort


This is PRELIMINARY only; many details are yet to be confirmed. The purpose of this notice is to inform pilots/owners of this upcoming event and to canvass our community for their interest in participating in this effort.

Interested pilots/owners are to signify such to Jean-Claude Audet as soon as possible, providing details of their type of aircraft, the area in Canada where they live, the type of flying they typically do, etc. More information may be required later as the project definition is more complete.

Ottawa Proposes Excise Tax on Aircraft Sales

With the federal election now over and Prime Minister Trudeau laying out the priorities for the new minority government, one of his party’s key commitments has aircraft owners across Canada concerned. The Liberal Party announced, as part of their election platform, a new ‘Luxury Tax’ to be levied on certain vehicles valued at or more than $100,000. Among the list of affected vehicles are privately registered aircraft.

The plan, costed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), was vague on additional details. The PBO estimated, with “high uncertainty” that revenues from the new tax could reach as high as $600 million in the near term. Though not specified, the wording of the announcement implied the tax would be levied on the whole amount, not simply the portion at and over $100,000. Similarly unclear is whether the tax would apply to any aircraft, or only to new aircraft. The proposed tax would also apply to boats and cars of similar value. Being an excise tax, it would in turn likely be subject to GST or HST where applicable, and possibly provincial sales tax too.

“COPA, along with other aviation industry groups, has serious concerns over the impact that such a measure could have on the future of General Aviation in Canada,” said Bernard Gervais, COPA’s president and CEO. “While the idea is, at the moment, a simple campaign promise, members can be assured that their association will be front and centre advocating against any such measures that might be proposed in legislation.”

Implementing the proposed tax would require legislation to be approved by Parliament, which cannot be tabled until the House resumes sitting following last month’s general election. In the meantime, COPA invites concerned members to contact their Member of Parliament. We have included a template letter below for members’ use. We encourage anyone writing to his or her MP to copy us at takeaction@copanational.org.

Contact details for MPs can be found on the Parliament of Canada website. Email addresses for MPs are generally formatted as FirstName.Lastname@parl.gc.ca.

If you are unsure about which riding you live in, you can search by postal code on Elections Canada’s website.

template letter

Annual Members Choice Awards

It’s that time of year again, time to nominate your favourite aviation businesses and individuals who support the industry. A Members Choice Award honours those who go above and beyond the requirements of their role and offer exceptional quality and service. Consider nominating your local businesses for one of the following awards:

  • Best Airport Management
  • Best Pilot Supply Store
  • Best Aircraft Maintenance
  • Best Aviation Event
  • Best FBO or Fuel Retailer
  • Best Flight Training Unit
  • Best Civil Aviation Medical Examiner

The deadline for nominations is November 8, 2019. Members can submit a nomination by emailing Lauren Nagel or by filling out the nomination form available here.