At a regular board meeting held last weekend in Vancouver, Saskatchewan director and Western vice-chairman Shane Armstrong was elected to the Chair position, replacing Dave McElroy, who stepped down last month.

Armstrong (on the left in the photo above) is a school teacher and has been teaching Aviation Studies to grade 11 and 12 students at Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon for the past 13 years. As he developed this program, he fostered relationships with students who have gone on to become private and commercial pilots, introduced them to local flight schools and institutes and visited aviation points of interest everywhere from Cold Lake, Alta. to Winnipeg, Man.

As captain of COPA Flight 10 for seven years up to the end of 2016, Armstrong has been part of the innovative ways that COPA Flight 10 brings aviators together, promoting personal aviation, organizing recertification Rust Removers, COPA for Kids events and Fly-a-Friend events, all the time introducing and educating the public about aviation. He has also been active with the Saskatchewan Aviation Council, the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum and Learning Centre and has recently been teaching ground school classes at Saskatoon’s Mitchinson Flight Centre.

Armstrong sees COPA as the natural element to preserving and really promoting General Aviation in Canada.

“COPA has begun on this path of change; we’ve moved forward. We’re a leader in GA advocacy, and members have liked what we have been doing. But we have to take more forward steps,” Armstrong told eFlight.

“We have talked about it, consulted for it, planned for it. Moving forward means considering a new governance model,” Armstrong added. “Moving forward means growing our membership and offering even greater value to members. Moving forward means inviting more aviation groups to participate. That’s going to be very important. What I am looking forward to is helping make a COPA that is stronger, younger, bigger and FUN!”

Replacing Armstrong as Western Vice-Chair is Bram Tilroe of Alberta, who previously served in that position. An avid pilot who was instrumental in saving the Jasper and Banff airstrips a few years ago, Tilroe is heavily involved with the Alberta Aviation Council and the Nav Canada Advisory Committee.

Aero Club of B.C. president Tom Heise presents COPA CEO Bernard Gervais with a cheque for $5000 to be put towards the Freedom To Fly Fund.

On the same weekend the board co-hosted, together with COPA Flight 16 – Aero Club of B.C. (ACBC), a dinner and reception for area COPA members that was held at the Club’s Pitt Meadows airport facility (CYPK) in Metro Vancouver. During the event, ACBC president Tom Heise presented COPA with a cheque for a generous $5,000 to be applied to COPA’s Freedom To Fly Fund. It is the second year in a row that ACBC presented a donation for that amount.