Category Archives: President’s Corner

President’s Corner – February 2017

Welcoming in The New Year

A Few More Refreshing Changes


I have spent the last few days with some developers working on the new website, which has been in the works for a short while. We plan to go live by the first of April or earlier, with something we know will please our membership. Let’s face it, our surveys and analytics tools showed us that the actual site was barely used so it was more than time to bring this instrument up to speed and in line with our mission.  Along with our wealth of information, our guides, our advocacy and places to fly, look for the site to be a lot more interactive, fed regularly (if not daily) with news and updates, more photos and videos, being more intuitive, more informative and a lot more fun. As we make better use of technology, I would urge you to make sure your member profile is updated with all your correct information and more specifically, your language preferences.


Mid-December of last year, our new Manager of Operations Michel Cordeau joined our team. Since then, we have been flooding the poor guy with information and he says he enjoys it!  Other than getting familiar with just about everything at COPA, Michel’s first task is to look at developing, harmonizing and getting approved by Transport Canada (TC), a series of rust remover seminars that could be given across the country at our Copa Flights.

As I write this he is not in yet but as you read it, our Manager of Government Affairs, Carter Mann, will have been sitting at his desk in our office for a few weeks already. I can tell you that Carter is just as excited to be here as we are of having him join the team.  Both he and Michel will be working hard in giving compelling membership value, promoting general aviation, developing and maintaining collaborative relations.  Why not give them a call?  They are there for you.

Advocacy – aerodrome consultation

The law has changed last January first and new aerodrome proponents now have to consult before their aerodrome can see the light of day. COPA has prepared an explanation sheet and a form for those that want to make their existing aerodrome known. We encourage you to do so, for different purposes but mostly for the upcoming phase of the consultation process, where entities wanting to setup what could be considered obstacles would have to consult with aerodromes.  In order to do so, it’s certainly helpful to know where these aerodromes are.  Find the documents on our website or call us at the office.

What’s next

Still a lot of work to be done with our advocacy initiatives and with the strategic plan; planning a few group flying trips, preparing the 2017 COPA convention in Kelowna and getting a lot closer to all through our COPA Flights.

Give me your feedback at bgervais@copanational.org.


President’s Corner – December 2016

Still in IMC, but the runway is in sight
Responsible Aerodrome Development

Mascouche/Terrebonne aerodrome is approved! In one instance of the Responsible Aerodrome Development (RAD) file we have been following for the last few years since the infamous omnibus Bill C-43 of late 2014, we broke out of the clouds and saw the runway. Eight months to the day after March 4 2016 when Transport Minister Marc Garneau issued an Order Prohibiting the Development of an Aerodrome in the Cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne, the Minister has issued an official “no objection” to start development at the new proposed site, with no more conditions than to pursue activities in a safe manner, while being respectful of adjoining communities.

This is great news, because this was the first time in the country that consultation was made mandatory. It even came before the official ruling coming into force next January 2017 (see next subject of my column).

It is refreshing to note that in the official response, Transport Canada (TC) clearly recognizes the economic benefits of such a project in these communities, as it will allow the existing flight schools to pursue their activities and keep training tomorrow’s pilots. Close to one hundred aircraft will be moving to the new aerodrome over the next few months, where many hangars will also be constructed.

COPA will be working with the Mascouche proponents and TC to see if and what could have been made differently or better in the consultation process, try to draw some lessons out of this precedent-setting first effort. The goal is to share and possibly apply the consultation recipe elements that worked elsewhere in the country, as best as we can.

Gazette II, new and existing aerodromes (get your camera!)

On Sept. 30 2016 the regulations of RAD came out in Gazette part II, to come into force next January 1. There is one big issue that concerns us: “ad hoc” aerodromes (less than a certain number of days of operation a year) are not exempt. In other words, if you use a new terrestrial landing spot for just a few times a year, it may be subject to consultation. After some discussions, TC assures us that itinerant aeronautical activity is of course exempt from consultation, but this unfortunately opens up the door to a lot of interpretation. Those that are clearly exempt are water aerodromes (including the frozen surface thereof); primarily used for agriculture operations; heliports and temporary aerodromes for the purpose of providing emergency services. All existing aerodromes are also exempt and grandfathered in, no consultation is needed. However, if the existing aerodrome is not in the present Flight Supplement (CFS), there has to be proof (take pictures, Google Earth, etc.) that it existed before January 1. COPA will work closely with TC to ensure the initial intentions of RAD are respected. You can see the details of the law by going here http://tinyurl.com/onhvnne.

Helping your fellow members

Do you have medical, legal, aerodromes/airports, recreational aircraft, seaplanes, personnel licensing, insurance, federal government, air navigation services and border crossing skills to help COPA? If you have any expertise in one of these subjects, please contact me (bgervais@copanational.org. Please help us help you.

Those that are clearly exempt are water aerodromes (including the frozen surface thereof); primarily used for agriculture operations; heliports and temporary aerodromes for the purpose of providing emergency services. All existing aerodromes are also exempt and grandfathered in, no consultation is needed. However, if the existing aerodrome is not in the present Flight Supplement (CFS), there has to be proof (take pictures, Google Earth, etc.) that it existed before January 1. COPA will work closely with TC to ensure the initial intentions of RAD are respected. You can see the details of the law by going here http://tinyurl.com/onhvnne.

President’s Corner – November 2016

Once again, mission accomplished. Remember the cover of our August 2016 magazine (“Windmills Tilting at GA”) and my request for you to contact your Member of Parliament (MP) to get Transport Canada (TC) to put a stop to this, knowing that they can do it?  The Minister did not, but COPA’s Freedom to Fly Fund did. On October 7, a major decision from Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal has ruled against putting up eight 500-foot windmills in very close proximity of aerodromes as a risk to human health.  We’re talking of a provincial, national and maybe even international impact.  Be proud of this!

But this comes somewhat as a surprise. Considering the massive amount of information that was produced, over 2,000 pages of material, two people poured over the statements that were presented and very clearly expressed that yes, there was a risk to human health (oh, and some endangered bats also helped us), enough to stop the project.  They actually cite COPA’s submissions and presentations many times in their decision, as well as TC’s TP1247 document “Land Use In The Vicinity of Aerodromes”. More surprising is that these individuals say there is risk to human health when the Transport Minister himself would not mention it or stop the project. The standard letter that came form the Minister said that his power was limited to lighting regulations; wrong!  According to the Aeronautics Act, the Minister could have easily called a risk to human health himself.  But Minister Garneau’s aides used to work for Ontario’s premier.  Up to you to draw your own conclusions.

COPA’s work has always benefitted all of general aviation in Canada. What else could you expect from the association that works to advance, promote and preserve the Canadian freedom to fly? Now how about getting the non-members to join in and come into COPA.

Responsible Aerodrome Development (Mascouche CSK3, QC) – Follow-up

Last April I brought up the fact that on March 4 of this year, Transport Minister Marc Garneau signed an order which prohibits development of an aerodrome in the cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne (the town right next to it, in which a landing strip is planned). The actual CSK3 airport, which has been there for almost half a century, is shutting down mid-November. The proponents are planning to move it in a non-built-up area, 2km from the actual site.  A consultation process was undertaken up until April 27 2016. The proponents delivered their report just shy of 30 days after that.  They did an excellent job of following the prescribed order, as well as doing the most diligent work as possible.  This being one of the first cases, COPA was also very interested and involved in the whole consultation process, wanting to make sure it was done correctly.  As I write these lines, 136 days have gone by and we still have no answer from the Minister’s office.  In fact, the only answers we do get are the very laconic “don’t call us we’ll call you” types.  Back in August, I wrote to Minister Garneau offering our help asking for a status and nothing came back. Though we were part of the consultation process, this is rather pitiful.

Helping your fellow members!

COPA is reaching out to all its members in search of volunteer Subject Matter Experts (SME) that can, from time to time, provide guidance, advice and assist COPA National requests for information from its members. Ten or fifteen minutes a month or less. The designated areas of expertise are: Medical, Legal, Aerodromes/airports, Recreational Aircraft, Seaplanes, Licensing, Insurance, Federal Government, Air Navigation System and Cross Border.

If you have any expertise in one of these subjects, please contact me. Help us help the association.


President’s Corner – October 2016

New Web Presence Coming in 2017

Up-To-Date Platform Will be Mobile-Friendly


I’ve talked about it, you have asked for it, it’s coming. It may not be a new “website” which is an archaic word I was told, but we will certainly try to make it the new information platform and repository that should give you, our members, the information you want and you need.  Most of all, it will work with mobile devices so you can go through our material while you wait for the bus, are sitting in the waiting room for your dental appointment or in your hangar waiting for that storm to go by.  Watch for it in early 2017.


Our quinquennial survey is just about to be sent out to a selected number of you. You will find more details later in this issue, but I need to emphasize that this is the most important and thorough information-gathering exercise we conduct at any time. This is where we get the vast majority of the data that supports our work, where we see who we are, what defines us what the members think and want.  You can find the previous data on our “old” web site, the data form 2007 and 2012.  Just look for “About COPA” and “COPA Surveys”.

Invest $100 in yourself, win a Breitling.

Our Freedom to Fly Fund has been used for many aviation-related issues, some going up to the Supreme Court of Canada. It fuels our mission to “Advance, promote and preserve the Canadian freedom to fly”. And it works.

Replenishing the war chest is sometimes an arduous task and we need help.

Breitling (world famous aviation/time-keeping Swiss chronograph company, in case you didn’t know) is now a partner of COPA. They are making the exclusive Navitimer-World COPA watch. All of us should be proud of this, for it is no small feat to be recognized and have our own watch from such a prestigious company.

This being said, Breitling is also supporting us and are offering us a men’s or women’s Breitling Colt watch (value of $3,000) to raffle off for those who participate in replenishing our war chest. There is one chance to win the watch for each $100 donation we receive until our next Convention / AGM next year on June 24 2017.  This is the probably the contest where you have the best odds of winning and all the proceeds go to serving you!  See the ad further in the magazine, or call the national office directly.  Help us help you through the Freedom to Fly Fund!

Job openings at COPA.

The only direct contact many may have had with COPA has been with our extremely knowledgeable vice president, Patrick Gilligan. Patrick has been a friend, a mentor, a guide and counsellor to many of you (and even non-members).  He has owned eighty-nine (89) aircraft and we could probably fill a Canadian aviation history book just from his stories. His passion for aviation is contagious and it has served COPA well, as many will vouch.  All this to say that Patrick is retiring next June and it is time for us to look for a replacement.  He is looking forward to passing his knowledge and insight to someone that will take over.  Is this for you?  You will find a job description further in this magazine.  Feel up to it?  Want to work for your fellow aviators in the country?  See the job description, take the challenge and apply.

President’s Corner – September 2016

Sleeping with an Elephant

If you follow any sort of aviation news, you are aware that in the United States have just relaxed the requirements for what they call the class 3 medical (category 3 in Canada). The big American associations (EAA, AOPA) have been behind this for many years. For them, it is a big victory and justifiably so, since they had no real other option for their members.  We have had many enquiries and questions from our members about the reform, if and when COPA would engage in a similar crusade.  The answer is a simple no, not in any foreseeable future. Because we already have another option to satisfy the vast majority of our members’ needs.  To address the concerns of those that have asked us questions, further in this COPA Flight Patrick Gilligan has written an article giving an overview of the situation.

Understandably, we often compare ourselves and look to the U.S. for changes that my may happen here, but we are a different and a sovereign country (I am still so surprised when members and non-members call me up and say “I’m a member of EAA or AOPA, why should I be a member of COPA?”). The world’s aviation entities look to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), where norms, standards, policies, etc. that can be applied at a global level are defined.  The intent is really to set the bar for safe global mobility, with recipes that can be applied in any ICAO member state.  Even for medical categories. The names may differ (an ICAO Class 2 is the equivalent of a Canadian Category 3), but there are equivalences across the countries and for any international flight, you still need to have an ICAO-recognized medical certificate, based on internationally applicable norms.

In Chicago in late July of this year, COPA attended the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) biennial World Assembly meeting in Chicago with about 25 other associations like ours. COPA is the second biggest in the world after AOPA-US. In the end, several resolutions were presented for adoption and one of them was to push ICAO in adopting something like the revised US Class 3 for private pilots. Accepting such a resolution is not done on the spur of the moment and it needs to be looked at for more than just a few minutes, by each participating nation, to assess their needs but also the impacts should ICAO accept such a standard.  We are talking about provincial or state norms (drivers licenses) with varying degrees of conformity, difficult to verify and apply internationally.

The resolution passed, but was not accepted unanimously: as the COPA representative, I officially abstained. Based on the fact that we already have something similar in Canada, that we would need to study this carefully before following in these footsteps and that this is not one person’s decision – we need to discuss with you the members, through your elected board of directors.  Send me your comments at bgervais@copanational.org.


President’s Corner – August 2016

Windmills are threatening general aviation. It’s time for action – write to your MP!

Back in May we started putting the Freedom to Fly Fund to work to prevent putting up windmills near airports, specifically for Collingwood and Stayner, which seems pretty logical, doesn’t it? Having had many people voice their opposition to the project (among them some of our members), the Ontario government set up an Environmental Review Tribunal to decide if there is a threat to human life by putting up these windmills. That is where we got involved. There is no real jury as we know it, only two people who have no knowledge about aviation whatsoever. What’s a circuit? What does VFR mean? What does IFR mean?  This couple of deciders has in their hands a huge decision to make, one that could decide the outcome of two existing aerodromes, the lives of several pilots and ultimately, create a precedent on who has the last word on aviation in Canada.

So we have prepared a whole portfolio, trying to educate these two individuals, presenting the case and showing what is safe, what is not safe. Our taxpayers’ and COPA members’ dollars are spent in this case, which is an unnecessary exercise. Why?  Because all the while, Transport Canada (TC) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have been saying and educating the world on what is safe and not safe surrounding aviation.  Because TC has a document called TP1247-Land Use in the Vicinity of Aerodromes where it clearly spells out the four-kilometre safety radius around an aerodrome as a safeguard.  Because TC knows what can be done and what is in their power, as we (COPA, myself) have clearly presented the whole file to top TC authorities over two months ago.  The other ironic “official” option, clearly spelled out in the law, is for TC is to restrict operations, going all the way to shutting down the airport because it has now become unsafe for use.

We are asking for Minister Garneau to use his powers and impose the department’s safety guidelines (TP1247, TP312, etc.) they have developed over the last 60 years, not to let two lay people costing us millions of dollars go about trying to learn what is safe for aviation and what is not. But this case is “special” because it falls under the Ontario Green Energy Act which has precedence over almost everything and is extremely political in this day and age of being green.  We agree to being green, but not at the cost of aviator lives.  Since this is such a political issue, the only way we will get something done is to bring it to the House of Commons floor.  Do it.  It is in your hands, in your power.  Please go to our COPA Web site and click on the “Take Action” tab for all the details and write to your MP.

First results are in for the new COPA Flight

As you will see in this month’s issue, the new format of COPA Flight seems to please the vast majority of our members. We have collected a lot of responses through our survey tool and rest assured that all of them were read.  Keep you comments coming at bgervais@copanational.org.

President’s Corner – July 2016

A New Look

This is it. The new format of COPA Flight. For many years the newsprint, yellow then white did us right. But it was time to move on and until (if) everything goes digital, this is as good as we can get.  Go ahead, give me your feedback.

Looking Back On A First Year – Lots of Changes And a New Mission

Exactly one year ago, I took the role of President and CEO of COPA. The board gave me the mandate to lead this organization and make it grow, thrive and be the pride of its members. In order to do so, all the while integrating its history and diverse membership, I had to make some changes. The first I did was to set the tone: ban the words competition and confrontation from our vocabulary and replacing them with collaboration.

It also meant getting some feedback. How is COPA perceived by our members, our sister associations, the regulator (TC), service providers and the public in general? We went out and did some work to get a sense of that perception. The verdict?  The different tone was certainly welcome but we also need to be more modern, more agile and as a national organization, be able to deal with the differences with the various needs and expectations from our members across our nation.

Among the other changes that have taken place in the months, there is the new COPA Lifetime Membership to which has seen 24 die-hard wonderful members join its cohort. I’ve also worked with Breitling who has proudly decided to partner up with us, introducing the beautiful, limited-edition Navitimer World COPA watch for which you can see an ad in the magazine. I also took some money-saving steps by moving the office out of our existing premises and doing away with the in-house publishing business.  You are holding the result of this last move in your hands right now.

I was also fortunate to meet members and Flights from almost all over the country and got some great feedback as to how they feel and what they want from their organization. All this has served as input to our Strategic Plan review, which has been going on since last fall.  And what has come out of that? The most important point may be an updated mission, which is to: “Advance, promote and protect the Canadian freedom to fly”.  I hope you can relate to that, that it resonates with you as it does with me.

Last but not least, I also set out on the task of working with a COPA believer, someone every aviator could identify with and someone that believes in our mission, someone that could be the public face of COPA. I invited Chris Hadfield not long after I came on board to discuss and a year later, the cover of the magazine speaks for itself.  Make sure you read his interview with Russ Niles in this issue.  Thank you Chris!

Looking Ahead After The First Year

After a year in the Captain’s chair and introducing some significant changes, I think I’ll keep it in cruise mode for a while. What the next year has in store for us is to get closer to the rest of the general aviation (GA) community and as I’ve stated many times, I want to get closer to all of COPA Flights.  More aviation services and, as many have asked for, this obvious change: watch out for the new web site.  All this will be part of the whole, integrated communications package – magazine, Web and e-newsletter.  All for you.  Give us your thoughts.

President’s Corner – June 2016

GA ready to serve the community in Fort McMurray (AB).

You have all heard of the unfortunate devastating fires of Fort McMurray. A lot of action, a lot of coordination needed to help the evacuees and those left behind.  Many of us have contributed in any which way we could.  Meanwhile, a member of ours (along with another pilot and a Nav Canada controller), took on the task of getting the GA community together to support the emergency relief efforts that are ongoing for the residents.  Through the coordination of the local COPA Flight 176 of Edmonton and advice from our upcoming Director Bram Tilroe, our member Eldon Gjesdal and friends have gathered a list of 47 GA aircraft ready and standing by to assist, from BC, AB, MB and ON!  The help was offered to fly in medical supplies and other essential ones, fly first responders back for rest or up to CYMM for duties, help families get back to their home when perhaps their vehicle was destroyed, reunite loved ones or any other task.  GA can help and can be a vital part of the relief system!  The priority is still with the fire fighting assets fighting the forest fires, but the provincial coordination authorities are aware of our offer and our group of pilots is standing by.  Thank you Eldon, Christine and Richard.

COPA Office move – we need your help to decorate.

We have recently moved from the office we had been occupying for the last eight years, to 75 Albert St. in Ottawa. The move was done, the office is great, but the walls are bare.  Totally bare.  This is where I solicit your help and ask if you can send us aviation related ready-to-hang pictures (you, your plane, aerial photograph, etc.)  Send us your best and they will be exposed in the COPA office.  Please provide the details so we can give proper credit.  In return, we will send you a picture of your art hanging on the COPA office wall.

The new COPA Flight – coming up next.

This is the last COPA Flight in newsprint format. But as you will see the chronology of COPA’s written communication medium elsewhere in this edition, what goes around comes around. The July issue of COPA Flight will be a full colour magazine format (again), our first in collaboration with our partner Canadian Aviator Publishing (CAP).  Why change?  To save a whole lot of money and allocate the membership dues on mission-oriented services, not newspaper publishing.  And believe it or not, printing on newspaper costs almost double than printing a magazine.  When we switched from magazine to newsprint many years ago, it was to save on printing costs of those days.  How ironic.

As we move along, this outsourcing deal will leverage CAP’s experience of just-in-time aviation news delivery, improving your online experience on the website and complemented by a regular newsletter. Rest assured COPA Flight will be a different publication than the well-respected Canadian Aviator. It will still be the association’s magazine and COPA will maintain editorial control and content management.  COPA Flight will still be COPA Flight.  But in a better, revamped, more pertinent format with perhaps a few surprises once in a while.  You will like it as much as we are excited to see these changes.  But don’t just take my word for it, wait until you see it. Until next month, in a glossy colour magazine.

President’s Corner – May 2016

It happened in Cal(GA)ry.

This past April, we had some real exciting meetings in Calgary. I know, you’re thinking that if I find a strategic plan work session and a board meeting exciting, then perhaps I should drink less coffee.

If you’ve been following my columns, I have talked about COPA’s strategic plan review last September, December and March. The team assigned to the review has been meeting and working since early this year, gradually getting to a more and more tactical and operational level.

We are also getting very positive feedback from our target support group out there, following our endeavours. The latest session was again one whole day in a bunker with a diverse team of COPA members, champions and true believers giving their best to make a difference.

Refining our mission, the thought process brought us back to our roots, our values, what we are doing and our understanding of the role COPA plays for aviation in Canada. What our members want and how we are perceived. Amongst other things, one stood out from the rest: if we want to be able to move ahead with our plan, we need to understand who we are, what we are.

We are here for general aviation (GA). We are not just personal aviation, not just recreational. We can’t be. We are for all of GA, whether we want it or not. In fact, we are GA in Canada, period.

So let’s say it, own it, live it. From now on, you will gradually see the message of personal aviation fade away and be replaced by “general aviation”. May seem like a small thing, but it is an important step.

All this is in line with my thoughts of where we should be in the country, working closely with all of the GA groups and sister associations, working a lot closer to our COPA Flights (en français, le terme suggéré est “Club COPA” au lieu d’escadrille) and all that is GA-related. Expect to see some more on the strategic plan presented this year sometime around our AGM/Convention in Yarmouth.

Flight Captains, expect something from me in the next few months and all members, expect to take part in the work related to our plan and making this association stronger. Expect to see some more exciting stuff. COPA is moving forward.

Freedom to Fly Fund (FFF) at work

The board has recently agreed to put the FFF at work to prevent windmills from going up near and even on airports in Ontario, notably at Collingwood and Stayner. Mind you this can happen anywhere across the country. As you may know, the province’s Green Energy Act seems to flout all other considerations, including aviation safety.

Well, COPA will be helping members and present material at an upcoming environment tribunal. As I asked in my last column, if Transport Canada can request consultation for an aerodrome, why not the other way around?   There is still some way to go.

Being more proficient

In my present role, I have been exposed to questions and issues in relation to the IFR world, which I am admittedly not too familiar with. I can and do reach out to a group of experts that can help, but I feel I am lacking in that field. Right now my PPL is complemented by night and seaplane ratings. To be more proficient, I will start my IFR rating this year and keep you posted through some regular articles or via this column.

I hope to inspire some of you to go for an extra rating or more training to stay ahead of your aircraft, to be a better and safer pilot. If you have suggestions on my upcoming training, feel free to contact at bgervais@copanational.org.


President’s Corner – April 2016

A page has turned: consultation for aerodromes now a reality

Most of you are aware of the Responsible Aerodrome Development saga. If not, you can find the history and detailed chronology on our website http://copanational.org/CARAC_Status_report.cfm.

In this whole venture, you may recall the December 2014 Conservative omnibus Bill C-43 in which were buried a few lines relating to aeronautics, giving new powers to the Minister. The Bill became law.

It’s interesting to note that just before the last federal elections and in response to our questions (see page 11 of COPA Flight Nov. 2015), the Liberal Party mentions that “We believe that the changes in the omnibus budget implementation act, C-43, give the Minister of Transportation overly broad powers”.

That being said, on March 4 of this year, Transport Minister Marc Garneau used these powers. He signed an order which prohibits development of an aerodrome in the cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne, unless the following three conditions were met: do the consultation; provide the Minister with the results and receive authorization from the Minister.

The Order then presents a Mascouche-specific recipe. I say Mascouche-specific because the final procedure is not out yet, all we have is the Gazette 1 draft and our own comments. And the recipe seems to be a hybrid of some sort.

Mascouche airport (CSK3, North-East of Montréal) is closing in November 2016. It has been in the crosshairs of politicians for nearly a decade and proponents have been looking for an alternative for a little less time and have recently done some preliminary work to perhaps move the airport to a close-by location.

Back in November 2014 while studying options with the proponents, we all agreed that CSK3 could be a test case of these new powers and that any initiative by the proponents should encompass some consultation and we were right. This Order proves it and has nipped any initiative at the bud.

So what’s next? As a test case, COPA’s suggestion is to closely follow the prescribed process and I am confident the proponents will. It will be interesting to see how the consultation will play out, the costs that were incurred and most of all, what the final decision will be.

This new government boasts about taking evidence-based decisions, which is great. I am looking forward to learn what evidence constitutes “public interest” and to share that in an upcoming COPA guide with all of you.

And the other way around?

There is another urgent matter regarding the responsible aerodrome development which needs to be addressed: obstacle development on land adjacent to aerodromes. If, in the public interest, aerodromes need to consult with outside parties, than the provinces, the municipalities and the utility companies must also consult with aerodromes so as not to impact aviation safety. The “overly broad powers” of the Minister need to be applicable to promote and protect aviation, not to stifle it.

Makes me wonder

Transport Canada’s mandate is to make our transportation system safe as well as promoting and supporting it. In a totally unscientific manner, I just looked up the occurrences of the words “Safety” and “Promote” in the Aeronautics Act over the years and came up with the data below. Should we be on the lookout for over-regulation? Something to ponder.

Aeronautics Act
Occurrences of
Versions “Safety” “Promote”
2003-01-01 to 2003-03-31 28 2
2003-04-01 to 2003-06-29 28 2
2003-06-30 to 2004-05-10 30 2
2004-05-11 to 2005-03-31 39 2
2005-04-01 to 2005-12-11 39 2
2005-12-12 to 2007-05-03 41 2
2007-05-04 to 2008-07-01 42 2
2008-07-02 to 2011-03-22 42 2
2011-03-23 to 2011-12-31 42 2
2012-01-01 to 2014-12-15 42 2
2014-12-16 to 2015-02-06 43 2
2015-02-07 to 2015-02-25 58 2
2015-02-26 to 2015-07-31 58 2
2015-08-01 to 2016-02-15 59 2

Changes at COPA National office

After 41 years of loyal service, on April 1st, our Membership Administrator Ghislaine Desjardins has decided to move on to a new job: retirement.  As our “wise elder” she has seen COPA go through many changes, sometimes hovering, sometimes soaring, sometimes rocketing, witnessing some hard landings as well as great victories.  She stood by through thick and thin and she could probably write a book about her time here!

Please join me in thanking her and wishing her the best: merci Ghislaine!