About the scholarship

COPA believes the sky is for everyone and is committed to supporting safer drone operations. Through the new COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship, three COPA members 18 and older will receive training to obtain their advanced RPAS pilot certificate. The scholarship includes access to RPAS ground school, flight reviews and exam expenses (conditions apply).

Recipients will be chosen based on their involvement and participation in General Aviation activities, events, or organizations.

Apply for the scholarship

See below for eligibility criteria. Applications for the COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship must be submitted between January 4, 2023 and March 1, 2023.  All applicants will be notified if their submission was succession within a 45-60 day period after the deadline.


Make a donation

Interested in contributing to the future of General Aviation? COPA’S Flight Safety Foundation, which supports all its scholarship opportunities exclusively rely upon the generous donations of our flying community. To make a donation and to support a new generation of deserving flyers, please visit the following link:


  • Eligibility Criteria

  • Past Recipients

  • Application Questions

  • Additional Details

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants should be at least 18 years of age.
  • Applicants must be current COPA members in good standing.
  • Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Ineligible Applicants

  • To ensure that as many aviators can benefit, successful applicants from previous years of this scholarship are not eligible to re-apply.

Dispersal of Funds
COPA will coordinate the designated training through Coastal Drone, our pre-approved RPAS ground school. This designated training facility will provide instructional materials. The successful applicant is to pay for the Transport Canada exam and COPA will reimburse this expense.  

The scholarship amount is the maximum that will be paid by COPA from the fund for any advanced licenses, ratings or endorsement(s) being pursued and may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the eligible costs section of these guidelines.  

Unused amounts at the completion of training, if any, will remain in COPA’s funds for future awards. COPA may exercise judgment as to whether training can be deferred for a reasonable period (beyond one year) and which courses are eligible for payment under these guidelines.  

Training shall be completed in a reasonable period of time, usually not longer than one year from commencement. In the event the recipient does not make satisfactory progress or does not conduct himself/herself in a manner consistent with the intention of the Fund, COPA shall have the right to revoke the award and to cease paying any further costs of training. Progress reports from the training facility will be provided to COPA as required.

Eligible costs of training include the following:

  • costs of ground school
  • Transport Canada exam expenses

Costs that are not covered include the following: non-flight training tuition at secondary or post-secondary schools, including colleges and universities, personal meals or transportation to and from the training facility, clothing, aviation equipment or supplies which are not required for the program. COPA will have the final authority to define and approve authorized expenditures.

Successful applicants agree to participate in future COPA promotional activities.

Any funds remaining at the conclusion of training will be reinvested in COPA’s Flight Safety Foundation for future scholarship awards.

Recipients from the most recent scholarship periods will be listed below.


  • Isaac Esikhaty, Lakefield, ON, COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship
  • Robert Whitley, Alberta, AB, COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship
  • Abdoul Kader Kimba Dodo, Montreal, QC, COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship


The application form will ask the following questions:  

Applicant Information:  

  • This section will request information on your name, phone number, email address, age, address, COPA membership status, and other basic information. 
  • If selected as a successful applicant, do you agree to provide a photo of yourself, a biography and proof of enrollment in a flight school in order to claim your award? Please note, funds will not be released until these documents are provided. 

Aviation Background 

  • Describe your aviation training to date (including permits or licenses attained), your interest and experience in aviation and any future plans you may have within the sector below. 
  • Please provide background on your community involvement, including your demonstrated interest in the advancement of General Aviation in Canada. 
  • How will this scholarship benefit you in achieving your flying goals and/or helping you to meet any financial needs you may have?
  • Please provide a short essay on one of the following topics (max 2,500 words)  
    • Why are drones good for Canada and/or aviation? 
    • How would you use your Advanced RPAS Certification to support recreational flying in Canada?  

Letters of Recommendation 

Please provide at least one letter of recommendation from a non-relative in support of your application. The letter should reference your aviation or community work to date. The full name, address and telephone number of each reference are required.  

About the COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship

  • The COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship was first established in 2021 through contributions from COPA members, the Canadian aviation community and through the generous support of the WestJet Pilot Association.
  • Each year, COPA will award up to three successful applicants with a scholarship valued at $1,000.
  • The scholarship amount is the maximum that will be paid by COPA from the fund for the licences, endorsement(s) or rating(s) being sought and may not be used for any purposes other than those approved by COPA. 
  • Unused amounts at the completion of training, if any, will remain in COPA’s Flight Safety Foundation for future awards.
  • COPA may exercise judgment as to whether training can be deferred for a reasonable period and which courses are eligible for payment under these guidelines.

Selection Committee

  • The Selection Committee will have full and final authority to select the winning candidates and to instruct COPA to disburse funds in accordance with the guidelines.

About Coastal Drone Co

  • The recipients of the COPA Drone Pilot Scholarship will receive training through Coastal Drone. Founded in 2016, Coastal Drone Corp, Langley, BC, is a Transport Canada self-declared training organization that specializes in on-demand, web-based drone pilot training and certification.  Its courses include preparation for the Basic and Advanced Pilot Certificate, advanced courses in Photography and Videography, Aerial Inspection, and additional professional development.  Coastal Drone Co also serves organizations that want to scale and manage their drone pilot training, manage regulatory compliance, and provide on-demand drone pilot services through its Canada-Wide Remote Pilot Network.

Contributing towards COPA’s scholarships

  • Contributions for COPA’s scholarships are made to the COPA Flight Safety Foundation. The Foundation is a registered charity and tax receipts are issued for all donations over $10.