October 11, 2017

President’s Corner – November 2017


What the Freedom to Fly Fund does
Come in For a Safe Landing
When a member from Stayner aerodrome (ON) asked for some help with the Freedom to Fly Fund (FFF), we looked at the potential impact on our mission of advancing, promoting and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly. It was of national importance. In a recent e-Flight (our weekly newsletter) and in the media, you may have seen that the that the company proposing to put up eight wind turbines in the flight paths for Collingwood and Stayner Airports in southern Ontario has abandoned the project. It is now confirmed by the company itself, WPD, that they will not pursue with the controversial development. This comes after the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal revoked the approval to proceed, saying WPD Canada’s plans for these 150-metre towers turbines on the immediate outskirts of the aerodromes and in close proximity to the runways would pose serious harm to human health.

The fund was used in a way to make sure we were going to present the best case. After much research and preparation, COPA Counsel Glenn Grenier and Southern Ontario Director Conrad Hatcher directed a vigorous legal opposition to a plan and their intervention appears to have been a significant factor, instrumental in the tribunal’s decision to pull the approval as their submissions were extensively referenced. And so was Transport Canada’s TP1247 document, “Land Use in the Vicinity of Aerodromes” which spells out best practices that proponents should follow. COPA is entirely for green energies and is even looking to work hand in hand with developers, but not when towers are right next to the runway.

The fund is always used for matters of national importance across the country and will serve everyone in the short, medium and long term. Please be generous and help us help you in supporting our mission and replenishing the fund. And for every 100$ you get a chance to win a beautiful Breitling Colt watch.

Recreational drones here and there are what we, as aviators mostly get to hear about, but they are just a fraction of what’s out there and being done. A few weeks ago, I was at an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) industry symposium about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) called “Drone Enable”. Industries, universities and think tanks are developing UAS Traffic Management (UTM) systems where all that flies will cohabitate. At least in theory… The technology is advancing at a pace most regulators have trouble keeping up with, which is a major challenge. This is why ICAO has setup what it calls the ICAO-UAS Advisory group, as a facilitator to help its member states in harmonizing definitions, human procedures, spectrum and training. Presentations by Thales, Amazon and others were really on the verge of science fiction. Have a look at https://www.d-flight.it/en or just Google UTM. An article about the symposium will follow soon. As always, comments to bgervais@copanational.org.