May 4, 2023

Ottawa provides funding for COPA Flight Safety Foundation project

Jon Robinson

Celebrating the new COPA Aviation Academy funding are (left to right) James Ferrier, Interim President and CEO, COPA; Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair; and Sharon Cheung, Director, Programs and Community Relations, COPA.

Bill Blair, Federal Minister of Emergency Preparedness, on April 20 announced $558,903 in funding for the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Flight Safety Foundation for a three-year project to enhance pilot training and its accessibility online.

“Through funding this important project, the Government of Canada is helping provide recreational pilots with essential tools for their safety and will help lead to safer conditions for aviators across Canada,” said Blair. “Thank you to COPA for your hard work and advocacy to continuously improve general aviation safety and keep our skies safe.”

The COPA Aviation Academy is being designed to ensure that pilots have 24/7 access to the necessary safety and search and rescue training, in a bilingual format, at no financial cost to pilots. COPA explains the new online learning portal will provide the public safety community with invaluable data and insights into pilot safety training knowledge gaps.

The funding, from Public Safety Canada’s Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF), will also support COPA in introducing safety courses that help pilots maintain their licenses and stay current on best practices for safer flying.

“[Canadian pilots] are dedicated to operating safely and enhancing their skills, and for the first time in Canadian history, every pilot in Canada will have equal access to quality safety training that helps prevent the need to be rescued,” said Jim Ferrier, Interim President and CEO, COPA “This new resource will also provide new safety metrics to industry previously inaccessible on a national scale. As a result, COPA’s new online learning centre for aviation enthusiasts will play an important role in mitigating the inherent risks associated with flying by highlighting key safety considerations for pilots on an ongoing basis.”