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Encouraging Our Youth To Fly, A COPA Priority

 

I had the privilege on November 20, to reaffirm COPA’s support for the Air Cadet League of Canada by signing a Letter of Agreement at a gathering of Air Cadet League representatives in Ottawa.

COPA joins several other organizations covering the spectrum of aviation including private and commercial pilots, airlines, airports, maintenance, manufacturers and other support organizations that support the Air Cadet League’s efforts to promote citizenship and an interest in aviation.

Our agreement includes providing cadets who have achieved their powered or glider pilot licence, as well as the League HQ and squadrons with complementary subscriptions to our newspaper and access to our website so that they can read about what is happening in our sector of aviation, attendance for cadets and League management at our annual Fly-in AGM, encouraging cadets to access our network of Flights for opportunities to fly and to share their passion for aviation and promoting COPA’s youth efforts with the COPA For Kids aviation program and the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund.

The Air Cadets was important for my career. My experience, including the Senior Leaders course, overseas exchange and powered flying scholarship cemented a long-standing desire to make aviation a career and the experience was instrumental in securing a position at the Royal Military College.

There are many ways that COPA’s relationship with the League will help promote aviation to our youth.

Connecting cadets with our Flights is a great way to extend the cadet experience while they are cadets and provide an avenue for cadets to continue their connection with aviation beyond their cadet years.

I encourage our Flights to establish contact with their local squadron, offer speakers and invite cadets to Flight meetings and other events.

Most cadets who obtain a pilot licence through the Air Cadet flying scholarship program do not continue flying, mostly for lack of funding and/or someone to encourage them to continue. COPA’s Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund is a source of funding for their training and the League will make cadets aware of the scholarship.

Our COPA For Kids program is an excellent vehicle for extending the thrill of flying beyond what the League now offers with their gliding program and limited powered flight experiences.

I look forward to working with the League to make COPA For Kids an officially sanctioned activity for cadets.

Another avenue for encouraging cadets to fly beyond their scholarship training is the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition. I am a Webster judge and believe that this is an excellent avenue for encouraging powered scholarship winners to continue flying beyond their initial training and aim for winning the competition in the year following their training.

I am proud to be a product of the Air Cadet League and am pleased to be in a position to give back to the League through COPA. As an official partner of the League and in conjunction with other partners, we will build aviation through promotion efforts toward our youth.