Canadian Owners and Pilots Association
The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) (French: Association canadienne des pilotes et propriétaires d'aéronefs) is a federally registered not-for-profit association that provides information and advocacy services for Canadian pilots who fly for non-commercial purposes.
|Type||Not for profit|
|Headquarters||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Membership||Individuals and companies|
|Number of Members||16,200 (2018)|
|Key Personnel||Chairperson: Shane Armstrong|
|President - CEO: Bernard Gervais (June 2015)|
COPA was formed in 1952 by Ottawa aviators Margaret Carson and John Bogie. They saw the need for an organization to represent the interests of private pilots to the government of Canada. Their model was the US-based Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) which had been formed 13 years earlier in 1939. After meeting with AOPA principals and receiving encouragement from them, COPA was set up with its headquarters in Carson's garage. As the association grew they hired their first paid employees and moved into more permanent offices. Bogie became the association's first president and today continues to serve as an honorary director.
COPA is governed by a 15-member board of directors who are elected by the members of the association on a regional basis. They serve four-year terms, with elections held in even-numbered years. Board meetings are held three times a year.
COPA has a staff of six who work from the association's offices in Ottawa.
Until May 2016, COPA published a monthly tabloid-format newspaper. Since June 2016, it is full colour magazine still named COPA Flight. The first edition featured Chris Hadfield (ret. Canadian Astronaut) as the new voice and spokesperson for COPA. It also runs a unique aircraft group insurance program. The insurance program, administered by Marsh Canada Limited until August 2011 is now run by the Magnes Group.
The association also has a large website, with some sections available to members only. The website includes its COPA Guides. These fifteen books provide information to members on such subjects as buying an aircraft, creating your own aerodrome and dealing with government regulatory enforcement action. There are also guides on each category of aircraft in Canada from ultralights to certified aircraft. The association has an on-line user-editable public airport directory called Places to Fly. COPA also provides technical assistance to its members on aviation questions and problems.
COPA is a registered lobbying organization and conducts advocacy work on behalf of aircraft owners with Transport Canada, Nav Canada and other governmental agencies. The association is a member of each of the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council's (CARAC) nine technical committees. COPA has a large Special Action Fund renamed the Freedom to Fly Fund collected from its members over the years, which is often used to fund court cases.
COPA holds an annual general meeting and two conventions, one in Western and one in Eastern Canada.
Youth flying programs
COPA was the Canadian partner in the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program between 1992 and 2008. Young Eagles was started in 1992 with the goal of flying more than 1,000,000 young people between ages 8 and 17 by the December 2003 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight. The goal was met with COPA's members flying about 10% of the total Young Eagles flown in the world. COPA's participation in the program was terminated on 31 May 2008, due to insurance issues.
- COPA. "Why Join COPA?". Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- COPA (2018). "Mission Statement and History". copanational.org. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- COPA. "COPA History 1952–1957". Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, "John Bogie: A Lifetime in Aviation," Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, (Spring 2009)
- COPA. "COPA History 1957–1962". Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- COPA. "The COPA Board of Directors". Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- COPA. "COPA Staff". Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- COPA. "COPA Insurance". Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- COPA. "COPA Members". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- COPA. "COPA Guides". Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
- COPA (2009). "Places to Fly". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
- COPA (n.d.). "COPA Accomplishments". Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- COPA (n.d.). "COPA Flights". Archived from the original on 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Canadian Owners & Pilots Association (May 2008). "COPA e-NewsFlash" (PDF). Retrieved 20 July 2008.
- Canadian Owners & Pilots Association (July 2008). "COPA to launch kids aviation program". Retrieved 30 July 2008.
- Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (February 2009). "COPA For Kids Aviation Program cleared for takeoff". Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2009.