When you’re offered a seat at the table, take it.
In the last months, COPA has had the opportunity to be invited to various focus groups
and forums, being solicited by either Transport Canada (TC) or NAV CANADA (NC) to
submit our opinions and in a way, help them help us. To be invited to do so is a privilege
and I never pass up the occasion, to have a say in building our future and what concerns
us. Recently, we have participated and expressed our concerns about flight data
recorders and cockpit voice recorders in light, recreational aircraft (excluded); are
constantly talking with NC about ADS-B and the antenna diversity requirements for GA
and we also participate in various other discussion groups.
There are presently two big studies going on with NC that will involve you, the individual
members. One is the FSS-FIC review that is going on around the country, where NC is
meeting with selected COPA Flights. We have also put out a survey in a recent eFlight,
a survey that you should fill-out to voice your opinion. The other study is the major
airspace review in BC’s lower mainland. On both occasions, NC is asking our members
for their opinion and we should not pass this up. If you’re offered to speak up, do so. It
will be too late when all is in place.
That safety culture needs to evolve and take root
I often talk about the general aviation safety campaign and the benefits for all of us. That it
will bring more safety while allowing to have shared techniques, common safety enhancing tools and seminars across the country, without the introduction of more
regulations. When everyone is putting so much effort into this and while we still have a
deal that there would not be more regs to be coerced into being safe, I find it deplorable
that we still see individuals flying with expired or invalid medicals (no licence), buzzing
someone’s home, flying while impaired or simply flying when not at the top of their
In last May 31st eFlight, we reported on the Brampton incident from 2018 for which the
TSB report had been published. In a sad accident that killed two people (and a COPA
member), we learned that the pilot had consumed alcohol and had lost his medical some
time ago, but was still flying since losing it. No one in his entourage knew about the
situation? Could this have been avoided? I’m not pointing the finger at anyone, I’m
pointing it to all of us when we just shrug it off, when for example we learn that someone
without a licence is still flying. By allowing our friends to do such things, we are letting
them hurt themselves and others, while penalizing all of us when the statistics and
records show such behaviour. Hold my beer while I buzz the cottage? Time to rethink
what is cool and what is not, otherwise we and our freedom to fly are all going pay for it.