Category Archives: Featured

COPA calls on Minister Garneau to take action on Wind Turbines

COPA is advocating hard on behalf of GA airports impacted by wind turbine development. Recently we wrote to Minister Garneau calling for immediate action on this critical safety issue:

Dear Minister Garneau,

On behalf of over 17,000 members of COPA across Canada, I am writing to you
concerning the ongoing saga of the proposed Fairview wind turbine development that, in
its current form, presents a significant risk to aviation safety at the Collingwood (CNY3)
and Stayner (CLV2) aerodromes.

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT)
recently allowed an appeal by local residents objecting to the wind farm’s construction,
which concluded with: “…the proposed wind turbines at their proposed locations would
be inadequate to either prevent collision with a wind turbine, or prevent a crash due to
wind turbine-induced turbulence.” While COPA is extremely pleased with the Tribunal’s
decision, this does now open the door for the project’s proponent, wpd, to appeal this
matter in court.

COPA is a willing partner with Transport Canada in the development and
implementation of the newly revised regulations concerning Responsible Aerodrome
Development. We feel that as much as it is important for aerodromes to consult with
interested parties regarding construction and consultation, it is equally vital that outside
developers be required to consult and mitigate with interested parties, including
aerodromes, on proposals that affect operations and aviation safety. As concluded by
the tribunal, the wpd proposal in its current form cannot be mitigated to the extent
required to eliminate the very real and established risk to aviation safety and the safety
of the traveling public.

In view of your recent comments affirming your commitment to aviation safety –
specifically around the reckless use of drones, a move COPA wholeheartedly endorses,
we are seeking from you, per the provisions of section 4.31 of the Aeronautics Act,
similar relief from wpd’s proposal due to the established risks posed to aviation safety.
Such a move would not only ensure the continued safe operations at these aerodromes,
but it would send a clear message – both to other potential developers and to the
broader public that Transport Canada considers the potential impact to safety that such
developments have on operations and is prepared to act to ensure that Canadians
continue to be safe in the use of Canada’s aerodromes.

Thank you for your attention in this matter and I look forward to the opportunity to work
with you and your team to ensure that the Collingwood and Stayner aerodromes can
continue to operate safely and effectively, and contribute to the economic benefit of their
local communities.


Bernard Gervais, PMP

President and CEO

New Website Launch

Welcome to COPA’s new website

Take a few minutes to check out new and updated features

The new website is clean, easy to navigate, and allows users to quickly navigate to the information and resources that matter most. Our new website also gives more visible recognition to the aviation-related businesses who support our organization through the Corporate Membership program as well as allows businesses certain areas to purchase advertising.

The new Events page combines the material formerly found in On the Horizon as well as our members’ regularly scheduled events into one easy to use page with different tools, which allow the user to filter events by category, venues, province, and airport. Additionally, the Google Map interface provides a visual guide to the many aviation-related events around the country. If you or your organization has an upcoming event, you would like to see listed, be sure to submit it to us.


All of the different aviation resources from the old website have been updated and combined into one easy-to-find menu called “Flying in Canada.” Here you will find resources on learning to fly, aircraft operations, licensing, medical issues, money topics, and COPA Flights. The new Places to Fly offers a user-friendly portal to find up-to-date information on airports and aerodromes in every province and territory. Want to find the best $100 hamburger? Need to plan your fuel stops for your cross-country? Visit our Places to Fly for all of that and more.

While you’re at it, take the time to update the information on your airport’s listing – the new Places to Fly is designed so that our community members can keep their information current, and even create new listings!

facebook-icon-preview-1In addition to our website, COPA’s social media presence is wildly gaining in popularity. Our Facebook page is up and running and is playing an important role in advertising updates, events, and COPA initiatives such as the Flight School Campaign, COPA for Kids, and news from around the Canadian GA family. If you or your COPA Flight are on Facebook, make sure to like our page @COPAnational and share within your own networks. For the flying photographers out there, be sure to send your entries to us for the Membership Card Photo Contest – we are featuring the entries as our Facebook cover photo and the photo with the most likes at the end of the year will become the background photo on the next years’ membership card.

Over the next few months, we will be rolling out our YouTube channel and Instagram account in order to better connect with younger, newer pilots and encourage them to become part of Canada’s largest aviation community. If you would like some advice on how to get the most out of your social media, give us a call – we’d be happy to help!


BasicMed – COPA’s Path Forward

BasicMed in Canada – COPA’s Path Forwardshutterstock_9605167


Recently the United States congress passed new legislation creating a non ICAO-compliant medical class for pilots with reduced requirements for certification with hopes of encouraging more people to become pilots and stimulate the General Aviation industry. In response to the public advocacy undertaken on this issue by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), COPA has received feedback from our own membership about potential reactions and future policy development on the Canadian side of the border.

aopa-logo_primaryCOPA has been actively discussing this issue both with AOPA’s senior staff as well as with senior officials at Transport Canada and trying to establish what is possible, what is achievable, and what course of action will best benefit pilots on both sides of the border. In that regard, COPA has developed a proposal that we feel achieves tangible results for Canadian pilots, while following in the spirit of allowing US-BasicMed pilots to operate safely in Canada.

COPA’s proposal would see Transport Canada allow operations within Canadian airspace of aircraft piloted by BasicMed holders that match the conditions currently applied to holders of Recreational Pilot Permits (RPP) validated by Category 4 medical certificates. Certain aspects of the Basic Med regime are not dissimilar to our own Cat 4 medical, which allows pilots certain restricted privileges for those who cannot, or choose not, to qualify for an ICAO-compliant Category 3 medical or higher. In COPA’s view, allowing Basic Med operations that meet the conditions of RPP operations would not pose an increased risk to aviation safety or the public. Our pledge to AOPA is to work with officials at Transport Canada to make this a reality.

In reciprocity, we are seeking Transport Canada’s and AOPA’s support in advocating the Federal Aviation Administration to expand the Special Flight Authority (SFA) regime to include Canadian certified, limited, and amateur-built aircraft operated by Canadian RPP holders. Subject to obtaining an SFA, holders of Canadian PPL (A), RPP (A), or Ultralight Permit can currently operate ultralight aircraft in the United States if the pilot also holds a valid medical certificate appropriate to the license or permit held. In the case of an RPP holder, this is accomplished by holding a valid Class 1, 3, or 4 medical certificate.

It is COPA’s opinion that allowing the operation of certified, limited, and amateur-built aircraft operated by Canadian RPP holders within the existing SFA regime in place for ultralights, does not pose any meaningful change to public risk or aviation safety.

Therefore, we support and encourage all steps undertaken by Transport Canada to permit US Basic Med operations in Canada, provided they comply with the same restrictions applicable to holders of RPPs. In return, we call on Transport Canada and AOPA to advocate to the FAA for Canadian RPP holders to be permitted, subject to the SFA requirements, to operate certified, amateur-built, and limited-class aircraft in the United States.

On behalf of Canadian pilots, we look forward to making this proposal a reality. Together with our partners and stakeholders, we will reduce the regulatory burden on general aviation while maintaining our high safety standards and collectively advance the Canadian freedom to fly.

Flight School Campaign 2017

COPA’s Flight School Campaign is underway!Student Membership

Our student membership offers anyone currently enrolled in a Flight Training Unit, or taking instruction from a freelance instructor, all the benefits of a regular COPA membership free for one year!

To sign up for this offer, complete the application form and email it to hmclaren@copanational.org along with your proof of enrollment or instructor’s endorsement.

Look for our promotional materials at a flight school near you!