Changes, ongoing challenges on the horizon
By Trekker Armstrong, Chairman | January 26, 2015
For many of us, 2015 brings personal changes, challenges and growth. This can also be said for our Association. On Nov. 27, 2014, I announced that COPA's President and CEO, Kevin Psutka plans to retire in 2015. Exact timing was unknown.
Recent developments have led to a confirmed retirement date at the end of February, at which time Kevin will be employed by the Air Line Pilots Association as a Safety and Security Representative. While the COPA Board of Directors was hopeful that timing would allow for the recruiting of a replacement and subsequent transition, logistics now makes this unlikely.
By Kevin Psutka, President and CEO | November 3, 2014
For those who on November 13 expect to navigate in certain areas of Canada using ground-based navaids, it may come as a surprise to you that there will no longer be any VOR airways to do so.
With the November 13 update to the aeronautical information comes a major shift away from conventional navigation as Nav Canada invokes another phase of its Windsor-Toronto-Montreal (WTM) project to modernize the navigation structure for the future.
By Kevin Psutka, President and CEO | 17 October 2014
The most recent election in Ontario was triggered by a budget, which included a 4 cent per litre increase in the tax on aviation gasoline, making Ontario the highest taxing province for this fuel. There was no consultation with our sector and furthermore the budget clearly stated that the money generated from our sector would be spent on priorities other than aviation.
The government that proposed the tax increase won the election and proceeded with the increase in four one-cent increments, starting in September 2014.
By Kevin Psutka
One of the benefits of being a COPA member is your access to our insurance deals. COPA has a wide range of insurance options for your aircraft, home, car, hangar, health, travel, accidental death and life, and there are several reasons why you should consider choosing COPA for your insurance needs.
A meeting on Thursday, August 21, in Toronto with the Minister of Transport where discussions on the Pickering lands revealed an airport will be eventually built on the lands sometime in the future left many in the aviation community demanding a quicker commitment to building the airport. The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) responded with a press release urging the federal government that an airport is needed to be built on the Pickering Lands now.
» Read the Press Release
On September 1, 2014, Transport Canada will shift walk-in front counter service at its Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Whitehorse, and Yellowknife centres to an appointment only service.
This decision was made after careful consideration of program delivery and in an effort to be as efficient as possible with public resources.
While we recognize that it may be an inconvenience, Transport Canada is committed to maintaining and improving levels of service, and ensuring a smooth transition for stakeholders. We will continue to provide services such as testing, processing payments, and answering queries through appointments, email, mail, and phone. Appointments will benefit all clients through ease of access to services and an increased quality of service. This will not have an impact on aviation safety oversight activities.
Appointments can be made by calling 1-888-463-0521 and should be made as far in advance as possible.
By Kevin Psutka
Earlier this year COPA reported on a court decision against the airpark, giving the city control over certain development at the airpark, including the altering of the site to accommodate an expansion.
COPA financially supported (with our Freedom to Fly Fund) an appeal of the decision because of the potential for significant damage to the concept of federal jurisdiction. The appeal was heard on 11 June 2014. Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal upheld the lower court decision.
COPA has been highlighting for several years that Nav Canada is transitioning the Flight Information Service Enroute (FISE) from 126.7 to a number of other frequencies, adjusting the network of Remote Communications Outlet (RCO) and consequently freeing up the 126.7 almost exclusively for Navcan broadcasting of safety information and for pilots to broadcast their location and intentions to other aircraft.
The project is coming to an end in July 2014 with the final transition of frequencies.
Flight Information Centres (FICs) no longer monitor 126.7 in areas where a new Flight Information Service En route (FISE) frequency has been established but they still use 126.7 for the Aeronautical Broadcast Service (SIGMET and urgent PIREP) and to conduct communication searches.
The best source to obtain RCO locations and up-to-date frequencies is in the CFS under the FIC entries: Halifax, Quebec, London, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Pacific Radio (Kamloops) and Arctic Radio (North Bay IFSS).
To help inform pilots of the RCO redesign Nav Canada has published a brochure and a map, which can be found at the below links.
COPA worked with Nav Canada over the course of the project to help design and implement this change. In addition to encouraging Navcan to create a specific update page, brochure and map for their web site, we requested that all aerodromes in the CFS include a RCO frequency in the COMM section and this has been implemented for those aerodromes where an RCO is located nearby. For those that do not have an RCO listed, pilots should consult the RCO listing for the various FICs in the CFS.
With the cooperation of Aircraft Spruce Canada (www.aircraftspruce.ca), COPA is pleased to make the following offer to anyone who buys a 406 MHz ELT from Aircraft Spruce Canada. Our goal in putting this deal together is to provide one-stop-shopping for the purchase and programming of your ELT as well as renewing your COPA membership or taking out a new membership (both at no cost to you).
Contact Aircraft Spruce Canada at 877-795-2278 or visit www.aircraftspruce.ca to order a 406 MHz ELT from their large selection of available units. When your ELT arrives, it will include a buck slip from COPA. When you complete the buck slip with your contact information and send it to COPA (fax, scan and email or mail), we will verify your purchase and then do one of the following, depending on your membership type. If you have an individual membership, we will extend it by one year, a value of $58 (at no cost to you).
If you have a family or corporate membership, we will apply this value ($58) to your membership account to extend your membership by one year and send you an invoice for the difference (family $21+tax, corporate $215+tax). For non-members, we will provide a complementary one year individual membership, complete with all of the benefits of being a member.
New SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger from Globalstar
By Phil Lightstone
I haven't met a pilot yet who isn’t intrigued with technology. Aircraft are technological wonders for many a layperson. There is a blending of many different technologies, such as power plants, aluminum, steel, rivets, radios, instruments, and from years gone by, wood, fabric, glue and dope.
Over the last 100 plus years, the technology of flight has grown by leaps and bounds. With the advent of satellite technology and the Internet, companies like Globalstar, a provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, have delivered technologies which can save lives. This includes SPOT Gen3, an affordable handheld satellite communication and tracking device, which should be in every pilot’s flight bag.
Review of DeLorme InReach Satellite Messaging System
G. Alan Hepburn
A relatively new player in the field of affordable non-mobile phone communications is the Delorme inReach. While it has apparently been available since November 2011, the author first became aware of it at AirVenture 2012. Basically, it’s a rugged pocket sized 7 oz box which, when paired with an Android smartphone or iOS device, provides you with outgoing text messaging to SMS or email addresses, incoming text messages sent in reply to your outgoing messages, or from a special Delorme website, and tracking capability anywhere in the world. It also has useful capabilities as a stand-alone unit.
Spidertracks – Product Evaluation
By Kevin Psutka and Bob Kirkby
Updated 8 November 2012
(This is a two-part report. Kevin was provided Spidertracks 2 for testing in the flatlands of eastern Canada while Bob tested Spidertracks 3 in the Alberta mountains)
Part One – by Kevin Psutka
I have used SPOT www.findmespot.com since the beta testing days and most recently upgraded to a SPOT 2 (see my report http://www.copanational.org/files/kp10022.pdf ). I carry a tracking device because my many years of experience with the ELT issue and my knowledge of the limitations of ELTs, including their high failure rate, leads me to conclude that regardless of what the government may require, I want to carry something else to improve the prospects for my passengers and I in the event that we go down.
ELT Update: December 2012
By Kevin Psutka
It has been one year since my last update, in which I reported that there was no change in the status of the regulation amendment and that current regulation remains in place.
This remains the status. All aircraft operating in Canadian airspace must carry a serviceable Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) that broadcasts on either 121.5 MHz (TSO 91 or 91a) or 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz (TSO 126).
I pointed out that if you elect to equip with a 406 MHZ ELT and/or carry a 406 PLB, you must ensure that it is registered with the beacon registry https://www.cbr-rcb.ca/cbr/.
AOPA Pilot subscription deal for COPA members
COPA and AOPA have once again teamed together to provide a great member benefit for COPA members.
For many years COPA and AOPA offered subscriptions to AOPA Pilot magazine, access to the AOPA members only section of the AOPA website and pilot assistance services for $65 (U.S.) per year. Now the same package is available for $50 (U.S.)
This improved program also includes faster service – subscriptions are now only arranged by contacting AOPA directly at 1-800-872-2672 and quoting your COPA membership number.
Donate to the Freedom to Fly Fund today
Given the considerable challenges we continue to face against our freedom to fly, we urge everyone to consider donating to the Freedom to Fly Fund. We have all benefited significantly from those who donated before us. Now it is time to ensure that we continue to be able to protect your freedom as well as the freedom of those who will follow us.
Click here for examples of how the Freedom to Fly Fund has been applied to date.
IN OTHER COPA NEWS: