Advocacy – Current Topics

Response to the Red Deer Overnight Air Traffic Level of Service Review

COPA was notified that about an Aeronautical study currently being conducted reviewing the overnight Air Traffic Services being offered at the Red Deer Airport and offers the following response to NAV CANADA’s Aeronautical Studies team. COPA believes that the current overnight level of service currently being provided at the Red Deer airport by the Flight Service Station should remain the same in order to insure the safety of GA pilots who depend on the aviation weather information, runway surface condition reports and safe guidance provided by the FSS in case of disorientation.

Support for Golden Airport in British Columbia

COPA was notified that the City of Golden is conducting a study on the viability of the Golden Airport and offers the following letter of support for its continued operation. COPA believes that the City of Golden should continue to support its airport and explore how the airport can actually “work” for the City and play an important role in its economic growth and maintain the important role it plays in the General Aviation aerodrome safety network of the Canadian Rockies.

COVID-19 Response

The current COVID-19 pandemic has taken a drastic toll on aviation operations in Canada and around the world. To mitigate some of the effects and ensure best outcomes for GA pilots, COPA has been working closely with an industry working group to advocate for what we believe are necessary programs and exemptions. You can read our Joint Aviation Leadership letter to P.M. Justin Trudeau here. Many such exemptions have already been put in place, the full list is available on the Transport Canada website for COVID-19 aviation updates. As aviation activities resume, we also recommend consulting our GA aircraft disinfecting tips when returning to flight training or aircraft renting.


10-Year Propeller Overhauls

Requirements for complete propeller overhauls every 10 years are sometimes burdensome, expensive, and are we sure they measurably increase safety? COPA is leading the effort to allow owners of constant-speed propellers used in non-commercial, piston operations, to be exempted from the requirement to overhaul at 10 years of calendar time. These owners would be allowed to operate “on condition,” subject to any applicable airworthiness directives.

406 ELT Mandate

Transport Canada has proposed a mandate for all Canadian-registered aircraft to equip with 406MHz ELTs. COPA maintains that this antiquated technology has a poor track record of actually surviving a crash to be able to activate and broadcast its position. COPA favors adoption of new and emerging technologies, such as ADS-B (see below), to serve as a reliable and more effective alternative. COPA’s president has written several op-eds in various media on this topic. If your aircraft has an ADS-B Out system with antenna diversity, you can help us to gather data on the topic. Fill out your information here if you are equipped or share this form with someone who is.

ADS-B Mandate in Canada – and ELT replacement

General Aviation aircraft fall under Phase III of Nav Canada’s proposed ADS-B mandate. The proposal is for all aircraft operating in transponder-required airspace to be equipped with 1090ES (spaced-based) ADS-B. Read our position here. COPA is currently working with Nav Canada on the issue of Antenna Diversity, which would add significant cost to ADS-B installations. Pilots should note that equipment meeting the United States’ 2020 mandate for 978UAT (ground-based) ADS-B will not be compliant in Canadian airspace.

See this presentation how satellite-based ADS-B can be the perfect replacement for ELTs and avoid moving ahead with mandatory 406MHz ELTs that only work around 62% of the times.

GA Safety Campaign

At the 2017 COPA Convention and Tradeshow in Kelowna, B.C., COPA and Transport Canada announced the launch of a new campaign aimed at educating pilots, passengers, and the general public on key areas related to safety in general aviation. Through an investment by Transport Canada over the next three years, the General Aviation Safety Campaign will highlight important topics in several areas of general aviation. Read more about the campaign here. Information on GA safety surveys, presentations and letters can be found on the TC website.

Economic Impact of General Aviation in Canada

Click here to read COPA’s 2017 study that highlights the economic impact General Aviation contributes to Canadian communities and to the national economy. The study, compiled by Vancouver-based InterVISTAS, estimates that General Aviation operations in Canada contributes $9.3 billion in economic output nationally and directly accounts for almost 36,000 full time jobs in communities across the country. The report also highlights the benefits that General Aviation operations bring to communities in terms of tax revenues, direct, and indirect employment.


Aerodrome Development

In response to the new regulations governing aerodrome construction and expansion which came into effect January 1st, 2017, COPA has been working collaboratively with Transport Canada on a new Advisory Circular which will provide clear direction on the requirements for consultation. We look forward to advancing the second phase (see below) of this initiative later this year which will require outside developers to consult with aerodromes and local aviation communities on developments or works which may impact airport operations. Those wishing to record their unregistered aerodromes should visit our page on this issue.


COPA has been actively discussing the BasicMed file with AOPA’s senior staff as well as with senior officials at Transport Canada and establishing an action plan based on what is possible, what is achievable, and what courses of action will best benefit pilots on both sides of the border. In that regard, COPA has developed a proposal that would allow BasicMed operations in Canada that abide by current conditions in place for Recreational Pilot Permit (RPP) holders. In return, we are calling on the FAA to revise the Special Flight Authorization regime to allow Canadian RPP holders to operate Certified, Amateur-Built, and Limited-class aircraft in the United States. Read the full text of COPA’s proposal. COPA has also been working through IAOPA to develop an ICAO medical certification standard. A review has been set in motion which will look at the medical certification protocols of ICAO member countries to find commonalities and develop an ICAO standard for light aircraft medicals.



Drone and RPAS technology is advancing at an incredible pace. COPA is proud to be playing a leading role in Transport Canada’s drone policy development process, advising the regulator on proposed guidelines for airspace usage in and around aerodromes. Visit our RPAS page to learn more.

On Our Radar…

Responsible Aerodrome Development – phase 2

Having obstacle developers consult with aerodromes.  Phase one was for aerodromes to consult, now it’s the other way around.  COPA sat with TC and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) to setup a guideline and see how these consultations can come about, to avoid situations like the one we are going through with the Collingwood windmills.