As many of you are no doubt aware, one of the significant financial operations in COPA is the Freedom to Fly Fund, formerly known as the Special Action Fund.
When one considers the various projects to which the monies in the fund have been directed in the past, it can easily be seen that your “Freedom to Fly” has clearly been the focus.
Excellent examples of our support from the Fund have included the Laferriere Airstrip and Air Mauricie cases concerning federal jurisdiction that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, the Banff and Jasper Airstrip protections (see President’s column on page 1), the wind farm risk assessment and Cortes Island Aerodrome defence.
In order for COPA to continue defending your freedom to fly, you have probably noted that we are constantly seeking supporting inputs of financial contributions. In this regard, in recent discussions with Fred Simpson, the Captain of Flight 84 at Edenvale, ON, also known as the Borden Flying Club, he outlined to me a new initiative the Flight is undertaking that is oriented towards creating an inflow of monies to COPA’s Freedom to Fly Fund.
This initiative is structured along the lines of offering a $25 discount to all COPA 84 members. Starting this year, all members of the Borden Flying Club will receive a $25 discount on their annual dues if they are members of COPA. This will apply to both flying members, whose dues are $300 per year (the Flight owns a Cessna 177 that is available for rent to members), and social members who pay $50 per year.
Flight 84 is encouraging each person to donate their $25 savings to COPA's Freedom to Fly Fund and will facilitate this by allowing them to write a single cheque to the Borden Flying Club for their dues and their donation. The Flight will then forward the donation on to COPA for the Freedom to Fly Fund.
For those Flight members who do not belong to COPA, Flight 84 will encourage them to join COPA by offering them the same $25 discount if they join COPA when they renew their club membership. They will be asked to write one cheque to the Borden Flying Club to cover their discounted dues plus the cost of their COPA membership. Their completed COPA application and dues will then be forwarded to the National office in Ottawa.
The Borden Flying Club plans to expand its membership, under the COPA Flight 84 banner, by conducting a campaign to encourage aircraft owners based at Edenvale to join as social members. There are close to 100 aircraft based at Edenvale and the Flight hopes to attract their owners as social members.
To do this Flight 84 proposes to broaden its monthly meetings to include topics of interest to a wider audience. At present it tends to focus on the Borden Flying Club but it will now shift to COPA Flight 84.
I think this is an excellent initiative. Fred Simpson and I now join in putting out the challenge to all clubs, schools and COPA Flights to undertake a similar policy with the goal of increasing COPA membership and raising money for the Freedom to Fly Fund.
Everyone benefits when COPA is strengthened by increasing membership numbers and our financial war chest remains large to both serve as a deterrent and to fund legal and other initiatives to protect your freedom to fly.