Category Archives: Important notice

Northern Lights Winners Announced

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation board members have announced the eight recipients of the 2018 aviation and aerospace awards.

Each year the not-for-profit foundation honours outstanding women who have made a significant contribution in their field and who continue to lay the groundwork to attract other women to enter or excel in these industries. 

The foundation’s Award Program called the “Elsie” is named after aviation pioneer and human rights advocate Elsie Gregory MacGill, the world’s first female aircraft designer, MacGill graduated from the University of Toronto’s electrical engineering program in 1927 and later became pivotal in the design and production of the Hawker Hurricane in Canada during the Second World War. During her career, MacGill was appointed to the Canadian Royal Commission on the Status of Women and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The 2018 recipients are : 

Pioneer Award : Major Micky Colton joined Canadian Forces as a pilot March 1980 and graduated with wings in 1982. She was posted on the C130 Hercules at the following Squadrons; 436 Sqn Trenton, 429 Sqn Winnipeg, 435 Sqn Edmonton, 424 Sqn Trenton (twice), 426 Sqn Trenton (twice).  Was Air Transport Operations Duty Officer (dispatch job), Wing Flight Safety Officer-Trenton and C130 Standards and Evaluation officer at Transport and Rescue Evaluation Team (TRSET) Trenton-twice.  Micky accumulated about 6900 hours on the C130 before retiring. Retired from the Regular force in October 2011 and joined the Air Force Reserves the next day. She just retired 30th May as a Reservist Duty Operations Officer for 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron- Trenton. Micky went to St. Lawrence College in 2013 and took the Veterinary Assistant certificate program.  She blazed a trail for women in the Canadian military!

Flight Operations Award: Julie Beverstein – Assistant Chief Pilot, Recruitment and Retention, Porter Airlines. Julie has been flying for 20 years. She started flying lessons at the Island Airport while at U of T doing her BSc; she then went to Seneca College to do the rest of her flight training. She was a flight instructor for 5 years before working for Air Georgian out of Toronto Pearson. She joined Porter Airlines in 2009. As the Assistant Chief Pilot, Recruitment and Retention, Julie is an active line pilot and Training Captain. She leads the pilot hiring and all pilot recruitment initiatives at Porter some of which included airline open houses,  the Porter Airlines Early Connection program, destination porter, a partnership with 13 fight colleges coast to coast as well as the Porter Star Award. Julie is one of the leads in Women Soar at Porter, an internal group focused on bridging the gender gap at Porter and more specifically the flight deck. She also sits on the board of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation and is actively involved with the ATAC Fly Canada project.                                

Government Award: Emily Crombez has accomplished a great deal in the first ten years of her aviation career, including being the first female to crew the Bombardier CL-415 waterbomber for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Emily steps up to face challenges head on and inspire those around her. Growing up working on a family ginseng farm, and neighboring tobacco farms to fund her pilot license, Emily completed her training and had to wait until her 17th birthday to receive her Private Pilot License.  Emily graduated from Confederation College Aviation Flight Management program as Class Valedictorian and Female Athlete of the Year.  Following graduation, she flew as a bush pilot in North Eastern Ontario, including three seasons flying the iconic deHavilland beaver on floats.  In 2011 Emily established and for the past six years chaired the Sleeping Giant Chapter of the 99s.  The following year, Emily was hired by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as a Twin Otter Captain and was selected to take part in unique operations such as aerial rabies vaccinating and a polar bear survey. Emily was the recipient of the prestigious Vicki Cruse Emergency Maneuver Training Scholarship in 2013, where she completed an aerobatic and emergency maneuver course.  In 2014 Emily was the first female type rated on the CL-415 waterbomber in North America; she crewed the waterbomber for three seasons.  Currently, Emily is flying the Boeing 737 for WestJet Airlines.  Emily continues to give back to the aviation community through various roles as a Confederation College Advisory board member and reunion planning committee member; 99s Scholarship Chair, Session Launch Coordinator, and mentor for the Professional Pilot Leadership Initiative.  On her days off, Emily dedicates her time to sports, the family farm, travelling, and spending time at the cottage with her partner Nate.

Business Award: Julie Mailhot started with Air Canada in 1987 as a Customer Service Agent and has progressed up the organizational ladder. She was the first female Flight Dispatcher and eventually became the Chief of Operations, managing a group of 80 flight Dispatchers. She has been promoted many times throughout her career and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada Express/Air Georgian.  She has served many other organizations in various positions and has received the Art of Excellence Award from Air Canada. She is also president of the Dreams Take Flight Toronto Chapter and has been involved with the charity for the last 21 years.

Education Award: Dr. Alexandra Kindrat is an educator and research scientist from Montreal. She performs research on mathematics instruction, as well as research related to micro-gravity at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, and on the International Space Station.  She is a private airplane pilot, and a long-time member of the Montreal chapter of the Ninety-Nines. She holds degrees from McGill University (Montreal), the International Space University (France), and Concordia University (Montreal). Along with her teaching duties in Montreal, Dr. Kindrat has been a member of the teaching faculty at NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholar Program at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. Moreover, she has also has served as co-chair at the International Astronautical Congress in the Human Space Endeavours Virtual Forum held in Naples, Italy, and in Cape Town, South Africa. Additionally, Alexandra has provided input as an educational consultant for the Space Advisory Board roundtable on Canada’s future in space at the Canadian Space Agency. Alexandra encourages her students to pursue studies leading to careers in STEM, and continues to inspire her students to reach for the stars through sharing with them her own endeavours in aviation and aerospace.

Engineering Award: Niloofar Moradi earned her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Concordia University in 2010. After graduating, she started her career at Rolls Royce Canada. Shortly after, Niloofar joined Pratt & Whitney Canada as an aerodynamicist in the Turbine Aerodynamics department, where she was involved in all aspects of turbine aerodynamics, from research and airfoil design to engine development & production support.  In 2016, Niloofar earned her Master of Applied Science at École de technologie supérieure, while working full time. She currently works in the Turbine Mechanical Design department at Pratt & Whitney Canada, where she designs and integrates turbine components and coordinates interfaces with other modules. Niloofar is passionate about encouraging and creating new opportunities for the next generation of engineers. She regularly volunteers on boards and for events as part of her firmly held pay-it-forward philosophy. She is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for Mechanical, Industrial, and Aerospace Engineering Department of Concordia University as well as the Aerospace sub-committee of  Palais des congrès de Montréal. Through her involvement with Women Leadership Committee of Pratt & Whitney Canada, Niloofar recently joined the Seize Your Future community and continues to work with charitable organizations such as Dress for Success, L’envol and Operation Christmas Child. In addition to her work and volunteer activities, Niloofar is an avid traveler and scuba diver.

 Rising Star Award: Larissa Chiu received her Private Pilot’s License through the Air Cadet Program in 2016 and now volunteers her time flying in her squadron’s familiarization program for young cadets. Larissa is currently attending the University of British Columbia in the Bachelor of Science program and is on the Executive of UBC’s Aviation Club. She is working on her night rating and Commercial Pilot’s license. She has received many awards along the way for such a young person including numerous Top Cadet awards, a Royal Conservatory of Music Scholarship, and Duke of Edinburgh Gold Medal Award. She volunteers for Girls Fly Too events, is a mentor at her high school, and also volunteers as a STEM Ambassador for Science Expo. Last year she entered into a partnership with Hamilton Watch Company who generously supports her flight training by donating $1,000 through her flight school in exchange for Larissa to fly Hamilton’s top employees!

Rising Star Award: Katie Gwozdecky is a private pilot and graduate of the University of Toronto in Mechanical Engineering. During her time in school she fiercely pursued her passion for space exploration, and joined the University of Toronto Aerospace Team UTAT. With UTAT, she built sounding rockets, designed and manufactured components for small satellites, among many other technical endeavors. Her major contribution to the team was leading UTAT as Director of Space Systems to pass a student levy, raising nearly half a million dollars to fund the launch of the first amateur satellite from U of T, HERON MKII, in 2019. This levy is the first of its kind in Canada enabling high volume fundraising for student teams. She leaves UTAT with a legacy of dedication, perseverance and teamwork. Her passion for space engineering has led her to pursue her MASc at the Space Flight Lab at the University of Toronto in September.

Other initiatives include a Speakers’ Bureau, Mentorship Program, and a Scholarship Program. The 2018 Gala Award Dinner will be held on Saturday, September 29, at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel and Suites Conference Centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Tickets go on sale in July. For additional information and tickets visit our website at www.northernlightsaerofoundation.com or call Anna Pangrazzi 416 399-5247.

COPA Applauds (Another) Victory in Neuville Airport Battle

The Commission for the Protection of Agricultural Territory of Quebec (CPTAQ) recently sided in favor of the Neuville Airport and the Neuville Aero Club (COPA Chapter #198) on May 10, 2018, marking the end of a three-year battle that challenged the supremacy of the federal government to regulate aeronautics.

The CPTAQ had two issues at the core of the Agricultural Activities Protection Law. One was that even though the developers own the land, they could not do long-term leases even if to build hangars, since it would parcel up the land were it to be returned for agricultural use. The other one was that social events held at the airport, some as part of the monthly COPA Chapter meetings, were outside the core of aeronautics and were therefore not under Federal jurisdiction.

“This victory is the latest in a long line of successes for COPA in defending aerodromes,” said COPA President and CEO Bernard Gervais. “The foundation for these wins were COPA’s two landmark Supreme Court of Canada decisions that affirmed the federal government’s sole purview to regulate aeronautics. We are pleased to see the results of those battles being applied in cases such as Neuville.”

COPA’s support for the Aero Club’s battle came from contributions through the Freedom to Fly Fund, a member-funded envelope dedicated to the defence and preservation of Canada’s aerodromes.

The Future of Drone and UAV Regulations

COPA and other stakeholders were invited to hear TCCA’s proposal on the future of drone regulations. Below is a rundown of these regulations presented on May 23 in Ottawa. These will go to Gazette II before the end of the year. It is important to note that these will form the recommendations to Treasury Board ministers and as such are not final or official until they are published in the Gazette.

Two Operating Categories:

  • Weight classes abolished. Will be based on type of operation:
  • Limited: Not near or over people unassociated with the flight (> 30m), not in controlled airspace;
  • Complex: Near (< 30m) people unassociated with the flight and/or in controlled airspace.
  • Flights over large, public assemblies will be subject to a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC);
  • No differentiation for commercial vs. recreational ops;
  • There will be an exemption for model aircraft flyers;
  • Changing terminology from UAV to RPAS – Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems. Unmanned Aerial System too gender-specific and not inclusive enough.

Rules for Drone Pilots:

  • Subject to new licensing regime based on the category of operation (Limited or Complex);
  • Provisions for underaged persons to fly under supervision of a licence holder;
  • New online portal will contain pilot registration, drone registration, licence exam, and study material;
  • Removing requirement for third-party liability insurance;
  • Different open-book, online tests depending on category of operation;
  • At least 80 percent requirement to pass exam;
  • Subject to two-year recency requirements;
  • RPAS operators will be required to be in possession of their certificate while operating the unit;
  • Complex operators will have to undergo a flight review with a government-approved examiner;
  • No mandated requirement for classroom training (one can challenge the exam);
  • Holders of a regular pilot licence would not be exempted, must take RPAS exam for type of operation unless exempted under the Model Aircraft clause.

Rules for Drone Construction and Design:

  • RPAS will be required to be registered with TCCA but not marked, due to privacy issues (for units 250g-25kg);
  • Will not establish strict design standards, but will adopt industry-promoted SAFE criteria for RPAS used in complex operations (Safety-Assured Flight Envelope);
  • Removing grandfather clause for future platforms. Those currently grandfathered will only be compliant for the life of that unit. 

Rules for Safety:

  • Speed limits removed;
  • Distance limit from operator removed. Must be within visual line of sight (VLoS) and maintain VFR at all times;
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet AGL except in controlled airspace, then within the limits of the ATC clearance;
  • If assigned higher by ATC, must remain within VLoS;
  • Night operations will be authorized once requirements for VLoS and lighting are determined;
  • Removed all references to built-up and urban areas. Will go solely on distance relative to people (people in the open, not people inside a building or vehicle);
  • Aerodromes:
  • No entry into controlled airspace except with an ATC clearance;
  • To remain three nm from the centre of an uncontrolled airport;
  • To remain outside the published circuit pattern and approach path of an uncontrolled aerodrome or water aerodrome;
  • To remain one nm from the centre of a heliport;
  • Manned aircraft have the right of way;
  • CFS/CWS will be guiding document for location of aerodromes.

Webster Competition Deadline June 1

The deadline for entering the prestigious Webster Trophy competition is June 1. Details on the application process are here. The annual competition picks Canada’s “top amateur pilot.” To qualify, any pilot who has never flown for hire can submit the results of a recent flight test (either their private ride or a test administered specifically for the competition) and write an online test. The top blended scores of applicants in each of nine regions qualifies them for the national competition.

The finalists will compete in Peterborough, Ontario Aug. 21-25 hosted by Seneca College. The competition includes a flight test in an airplane, a flight test in a simulator, a written test and an interview with judges. A completed application, flight test result and entry fee are due by June 1. The online written exam is due by June 15.

Offers Taken For Collingwood Airport

The Town of Collingwood is looking for someone or some entity to take over the Collingwood Airport and keep it operating as a public access aerodrome. The municipality is open to all options for the continued operation of the airport. “In September of 2017, Collingwood Council declared the Collingwood Regional Airport lands as surplus to the needs of the municipality and is now seeking offers to purchase or lease the Collingwood Regional Airport lands with options including an outright sale, public and/or private partnership offers, and long-term operational lease agreements,” the town said in a news release. “The Town is seeking a purchaser that is willing to maintain the asset as a publicly accessible Airport for a period of time.”

Offers can be submitted here or in person at the Town of Collingwood clerk’s office by June 15 at 3:30 p.m. Collingwood was in the news last year when a controversial wind farm proposal within the circuit of the airport was finally withdrawn after a prolonged legal battle supported by COPA’s Freedom to Fly Fund. The airport property totals 392 acres and has a 5,000-foot paved runway and a 2,548-foot turf runway.

King George Airpark to Close (Updated)

The owner of King George Airpark in Surrey says the owners of the land on which the airpark operates have granted a two-year extension to his lease. The owner of the land in Surrey on which King George Airpark has operated for 36 years announced in May that he’s not renewing the lease with the operator. Airpark operator Arnold Klappe said the extension was granted shortly after the original announcement that the property will be planted in blueberries. The facility is home to about 40 aircraft and a busy ultralight flight school. The operators of the airport are now looking for another location. Since the airport is privately owned, there is nothing that can be done legally to prevent the owner from changing the use of the land but COPA is engaged in opposing the unannounced closure of Barkerville Airport in central B.C.

Barkerville is owned by the provincial government’s Heritage Branch, which also operates the nearby historic site. It was closed in mid-February and the only notice was a NOTAM. Barkerville has a paved 2700 x 40-ft. runway and was open to the public and staffed daily. As part of COPA’s ceaseless efforts to maintain Canada’s aviation infrastucture, it commissioned a study quantifying the economic impact of general aviation airports.

Buttonville Airport Saga Continues (edited)

The ongoing saga at the Buttonville Airport (CYKZ) continued last week as it was revealed through various sources that NAV Canada is planning to close the airport’s control tower.

There was also an announcement by the airport’s owners that the field would remain open for business, delaying its planned closure possibly to spring of 2023.

COPA and general aviation community have concerns with the plan to shutter the tower, based on consultation that was done so soon before the airport closes.

COPA subsequently called on NAV Canada and Transport Canada to review the consultation that was done in 2017, which was based on an imminently closing airport. In our view this consultation should be revisited in light of the fact that the airport is planning to stay open. Even if in the last few years the movement numbers have gone down at CYKZ (see Statistics Canada data here), stakeholders may also shed new light that could warrant keeping a tower. An updated consultation should provide these answers.

NAV CANADA reports that they are delaying the closing date from the original date of July 2018, to consider any new information that may be available relating to traffic at and plans for the Buttonville airport.  If no such information is available, or if it does not impact the conclusions of the Aeronautical Study, NAV CANADA will proceed with the closure with notice being provided to stakeholders.

Hadfield On Ninety-Nines Board

Longtime general aviation advocate and Ontario Ninety-Nines member Robin Hadfield has been elected as a director on the international board of directors of the Ninety-Nines. It’s the first time in 30 years that someone from outside the U.S. has been elected to the international board and only the second time in the group’s 90-year history.

Hadfield was also elected governor of the group’s East Canada Section.

The Ninety-Nines has about 6,000 members in 44 countries that “promotes advancement of aviation through education, scholarships and mutual support while honouring our unique history and sharing our passion for flight.” It’s active across Canada organizing flying events and providing scholarships.

Changes to Language Proficiency Requirements

COPA obtained an advanced copy of a new Transport Canada advisory circular concerning language proficiency requirements. The AC, effective April 20, requires that persons responsible for flight training operations require students to achieve an “Operational” level of language proficiency prior to conducting radio communications – a critical component of a pilot’s ability to solo.

Additionally, at the Flight Test, candidates who are deemed to be below “Operational” will be assessed a “Failure” on the ground portion and not be allowed to continue the Flight Test and the issue will be reported back to the regulator.

Candidates who demonstrate an “Operational” level of proficiency but not an “Expert” level, will be allowed to conduct the Flight Test but will be required to undergo a “Formal Aviation Language Proficiency Demonstration” and have the issue reported back to Transport Canada.

Read the complete AC here: