July 13, 2017

COPA, AOPA Cooperate On Medicals


COPA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association have sent a joint letter to the FAA and Transport Canada asking that they adopt reciprocity agreements that will allow some limited access to each other’s airspace by pilots who don’t have Class 3 medicals.

Earlier this year, the FAA adopted BasicMed that allows many general aviation pilots to fly without having to obtain regular FAA medicals. AOPA initially asked that Transport Canada recognize BasicMed in its entirety but TC rejected that notion.

COPA suggested a compromise in which BasicMed pilots could exercise the privileges of recreational pilots in Canada, which is much more limited than BasicMed but would allow some U.S. pilots access.

In return, COPA suggested the FAA recognize Canada’s recreational pilot licence.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with our partners, including AOPA, FAA and Transport Canada, to reduce cross-border regulatory burden faced by general aviation pilots,” said COPA President Bernard Gervais. “Developing a reciprocal agreement around our two countries’ medical regimes will create opportunity and facilitate general aviation, contributing to economic growth for communities on both sides of the border.”

AOPA President Mark Baker said he’s hoping Canada will allow some access by BasicMed pilots. “Qualifications to obtain U.S. and Canadian pilot and medical certificates are similar, and I see no reason as to why we can’t operate safely in each other’s airspace.”

For more information on COPA’s position on medical requirements see the Advocacy page on our Web site.