Last Updated: March 25, 2024

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) regularly meets with both bureaucrats and elected officials at all levels of government (municipal, provincial, and federal).

COPA is the only association in Canada that advocates for General Aviation needs across the country. Without COPA, there would be no voice representing personal aviation issues at a national level. See below for individual updates on various issues.

General Aviation Safety Campaign

In August, 2012, a tragic GA accident claimed the life of Lauren Sewll. Lauren's father Greg opened a dialogue with TCCA and COPA. Collaborative efforts to reach out to the general aviation community to minimize the potential for these types of accidents from reoccurring.

Program Launch
The General Aviation Safety Campaign (GASC) was launched in 2017 by Transport Canada, COPA, and at the COPA Annual Fly-In/Convention. The aim of the campaign was to address GA safety issues, share the lessons learned from fatal accidents, as well as to address the applicable Transportation Safety Board’s (TSB) findings through promotional tools and educational materials. The campaign ended in 2020 when the GASC was adopted into the long-term General Aviation Safety Program (GASP).   

COPA is active on all the GASP working groups, contributing perspectives shared by members, supporting with distributing GASP materials and ensuring that GASP findings and resources are shared with members and the GA community.  

More information on the General Aviation Safety Campaign can be found here.  

Notices of Proposed Amendments
Transport Canada regularly makes amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations. COPA participates in the consultation processes for these proposed changes, advocates for the General Aviation community and monitors the issue.

Recent NPA's include:

  • NPA 2024-001
  • NPA 2023-005

Transport Canada's Registration Fee Proposal
Transport Canada who maintains the Canadian Civil Aircraft Registrar proposed fee changes to its aircraft registration services in 20xx. COPA recognizes that service fees for aircraft registration have not changed since 1996 and that the Government of Canada is interested to ‘modernize’ fees to more accurately reflect the current cost of providing services. The association agrees that the concept of user fees for some government services is valid when implemented in a reasonable, cost balanced and mutually beneficial manner. Unfortunately, COPA cannot recognize the current proposed changes as being reasonable, cost balanced or mutually beneficial between users and government. Therefore, COPA does not support the proposed changes to fees and submits that the cost benefit analysis of this proposal be revisited on a more than superficial level targeting aircraft owners as the sole beneficiaries of Registration Services.

In response to the fee modernization proposal, COPA has submitted the following letter to Transport Canada in early spring of 2023.

The Luxury Tax
In 2019, the Liberal Party of Canada promised a Luxury Tax in their election campaign platform. The proposal was included in Prime Minister of Canada,  Justin Trudeau’s Mandate Letter issued to the new Finance Minister on December 13, 2019. February 2020, COPA responded to the issue by sending a letter addressed to Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, to express the association’s deep concerns regarding the proposed Luxury Tax. COPA asserts that the Luxury Tax will have negative impact on an already struggling aviation sector. Canadian pilots pay compulsory levies on fuel, insurance, maintenance, registration, training, and more. It is a costly industry and another tax to general aviation will further impede the recovery of the aviation sector post-COVID-19. Ultimately, this will taxation will create ripple effects towards the pilot gap in Canada.

COPA works with other associations, like the CBAA, to reduce the harm of this policy change. And in spring 2024, the Finance Committee shares in its pre-budget report it will be adding exemptions for aircraft owners from this particular tax. COPA will be monitoring the Government of Canada's Budget 2024 to confirm the change comes into effect.