This week representatives from various sectors of Canada’s aviation industry gathered for the first time at ATAC’s annual Aviation Day on the Hill, an opportunity to promote aviation and discuss issues facing the industry with Ottawa’s lawmakers. COPA was a key contributor and assisted with the organizing of this event.

MPs Judy Sgro, LPC – Humber River—Black Creek (Ont.) and Chair of the House Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities; Jim Eglinski, CPC – Yellowhead (Alta); Robert Aubin, NDP – Trois Rivieres (Que.) and Elizabeth May, GPC – Saanich—Gulf Islands served as the parliamentary co-hosts for the event, a function required of all events that take place on Parliament Hill.

Throughout the evening, the discussion centred on the pilot shortage and the various ways the different sectors of the industry are coping with the challenges on this front. COPA has long maintained and advocated for General Aviation’s role as the front door of the aviation industry. In that context, COPA representatives discussed the continuing threats to community aerodromes across Canada from other levels of government, utility companies and land developers. The federal government’s sole role in regulating aeronautics and aerodromes has been repeatedly upheld at the highest levels and we continue to rely on that protection to ensure the survival of our aerodromes. Without places to train and to entice a new generation of pilots, Canada’s aviation industry would come to a grinding halt.

Many MPs and a few Senators from all political parties attended and each one shared their commitment to ensuring a strong and viable aviation industry for all sectors. The event provided the opportunity to maintain existing relationships, build new ones, and even sign up some new COPA members. We look forward to seeing this initiative grow and participating in subsequent Aviation Days on the Hill in years to come.

In coordination with this event, identical letters were sent to all party leaders urging them to prioritize and facilitate training in the aviation sector. See below for a copy of the letter to the Prime Minister.

In the photo above, COPA CEO Bernard Gervais is seen with Government House Leader Bardish Chagger, MP for Waterloo, at the Aviation Day on the Hill event.

Prime Minister Letter May 6 final JMcK