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More thanks, COPA election and ECATS

 

In last month’s column I acknowledge the many COPA Flights that had contributed to our Special Action Freedom To Fly fund in 2009. Unfortunately I missed a couple.

Donations were also sent in by Flight 5 in Delta, B.C. and Flight 7 in Sarnia, Ont. Thank you to members of those two Flights for your support, and I apologize for the oversight. Sometimes when a donation is received and logged it is not clear from the cheque that it came from a Flight, in which case it might be logged as an individual donation. If you are sending in a donation on behalf of your COPA Flight or flying club please attach a note indicating the Flight number or club name.

By the time you receive this issue there should be several days left before the deadline to cast a vote in our current Board of Directors election. This affects members in B.C./Yukon and Southern Ontario.

We have a strong slate of candidates in both regions so please take the time to read their backgrounds in the March paper or on our website and log onto the election section of our website to cast your vote.

ECATS

The Directors you elect are there to guide the future of COPA, to help you and represent your interests at the regional level. The deadline for voting is April 5.

Speaking of logging on to websites, in my November column I encouraged all aircraft owners to utilize the ECATS website once a year to provide activity statistics on private aviation flying in Canada. The purpose of this project is to gather data that will help to form an economic footprint of GA in Canada. I have since heard from a few members who have done so, but encountered some difficulties with the website.

The issues encountered have been passed on to Transport Canada by Patrick Gilligan in the COPA office. Some members have expressed concern that the site does not provide any sort of acknowledgment that the information was received correctly. This has also been passed along to Transport for improvement.

How to get to the correct web page is confusing since there are multiple paths (no surprise). If you end up on a page that requests a user name and password you are on the wrong page. You need to be on the ECATS General Aviation page which does not require a user name and password. Here is the direct route: http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Pol/2/ga-ag/Login.aspx . You can also get there by googling “ecats general aviation”.

If you go through the home page of the ECATS site you will see on the left two links: “ECATS - Data Collection” and “General Aviation”. The first one is for the commercial guys and will take you to the wrong page. Click on the “General Aviation” link. Then you will see the following link on the left: “ECATS/GA – Data Collection”. This is the one you want.

Don’t give up. If you encounter difficulties using the ECATS webssite please send an email to Patrick and he will pass the issues along to Transport to assist them in improving the site. I hope they will be collecting good data for many years to come and it will prove valuable as an economic impact indicator for general aviation.

Meanwhile, keep your prop spinning.