header logo

COPA Aviation Guides

These aviation guides have been written by COPA as an additional service to members. The following packages are multi-paged booklets full of information gathered from COPA Staff, COPA Flight contributors, and members. The COPA Guides are updated on a continuing basis so please check this page for the latest version before using information contained in any Guide. Paper versions are also available from the COPA Office for a fee to cover printing and mailing costs.

NOTE: Some of the links below are available only to COPA members. To become a member please click on the Join/Renew tab at the top of the page.

A full-time COPA staff member is dedicated to assisting you with any questions you may have, please contact:

Patrick Gilligan

613-236-4901 ext 104



To order any of the COPA Guides in paper format please contact COPA at:

NOTE: Paper copies of the COPA Guides are regular stapled photocopies, not bound.


Don't have Adobe Acrobat? Click here

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 issue

You may try to open a document, COPA Guide or other on COPA’s website and may think you have a current Version however because Explorer 9 settings may have kept in your computer cache an older version of the document, it will open that older not the updated version. To correct you must reset settings. Click here



The following COPA Guides are available to the general public (free to download)

COPA Guide to COPA For Kids 

·      This guide is designed for COPA Flights and COPA members who wish to fly young people. COPA For Kids aviation program provides free of charge a motivational aviation experience, initiating young people to the science of flight. This COPA Guide will provide just about everything you need to know to get started flying young people in your area.

COPA Guide to Air Meets / Le Guide COPA des RVA 

·        This guide provides information for organizers of aviation events. Although directed at COPA Flights (local chapters of COPA) and COPA members, it is also applicable to anyone who organizes aviation events in order to ensure that they are safe and have appropriate insurance protection.  This Guide also helps COPA members and COPA Flights understand what is covered by COPA Air Meet insurance when events are organized in the name of COPA: FREE!

COPA Guide to the COPA Flights / Le Guide des Escadrilles COPA 

·     COPA Flights are the local chapters of COPA. Join the growing number of aviation communities that are establishing COPA Flights to revitalize recreational flying in their area. This guide outlines how to start, run and promote a COPA Flight. Paper copy price: FREE!

COPA Guide to Getting Back into Flying 

·     This guide is for people who used to fly and would like to get back into flying. It explains the requirements and gives an easy checklist to get you through the medical, recency and recurrency requirements along with much more useful information. Paper copy price: FREE!

COPA Guide to Public Airports 

·     This guide was written as a result of numerous requests by airport managers and municipal officials for guidance material on how the most successful public airports are run. The guide includes information gathered from those that run the country’s most successful airports about landing fees, airport governance structure, tax applications and much more. This COPA Guide is publicly available and is not “members only”. COPA member paper copy price $10.00. Non-member price: $15.00

COPA Guide to Gliding 

·    Welcome to the wonderful world of flying without powerplants, This guide - externally written for COPA by the Soaring Association of Canada, covers all aspects of gliding and soaring in Canada. COPA member paper copy price $20.00. Non-member price: $30.00. 

COPA Guide to Volunteering with Air Cadets

·     Many COPA Flights and COPA members at large are already directly involved with their local Air Cadet League in some form. The intent of this COPA Guide to Air Cadets is to encourage more COPA Flights and COPA members at large to reach out to their local Air Cadet Squadron, offer assistance to local Air Cadet Squadron Staff or members of your COPA Flight can volunteer to participate in some of the Air Cadets’ activities. FREE!

The following Guides are available for sale to the general public and membership and as downloadable pdf’s for members only

Click here to access the document centre in the members only area.

Guides can be purchased as paper copies by members and non-members.  Check pricing below. NOTE: Paper copies of the COPA Guides are regular stapled photocopies, not bound.

AOPA/COPA Guide to Cross Border Operations  

·      Written jointly by AOPA and COPA, this extensive guide is for pilots planning to fly across the Canadian/American border for the first time. It includes information for pilots of either country on cross-border flight procedures, regulations, customs and much more. COPA Member paper copy price $20.00. Non-member price: $30.00.  AOPA members can also contact COPA staff for assistance with flying in Canada, including having access to our Guide to Cross-border Operations.

USA CBP eAPIS emanifest operational as of December 18th, 2008, click on DHS & CBP Documents

COPA Guide to Buying an Aircraft 

·    This guide to private aircraft purchasing starts with determining the right aircraft and goes to completion of the sale. The extensive detail is designed to carry first time aircraft buyers safely through the process. The package includes step-by-step procedures, good-to-know tips, articles by well-known authors and forms for Offer to Purchase, Bill of Sale and two different sample Partnership Agreements. COPA Member paper copy price: $20.00. Non-member price: $30.00

COPA Guide To Estimating Aircraft Operating Costs  

·     This is an aircraft operating cost estimating program. Just plug in the numbers and the program works out your aircraft costs per year and per hour. Requires Microsoft Excel to operate. COPA member paper copy price $10.00. Non-member price: $15.00

·       Instructions How to use this spreadsheet 

Note: This is really not well adapted to paper copy since it is an Excel spreadsheet, but a copy can be mailed to those who need it.

COPA Guide to Private Aerodromes 

·   Completely revised with more information on Federal Jurisdiction! This guide will assist COPA members in developing their own private aerodrome including dealing with municipal and provincial governments. COPA member paper copy price $10.00. Non-member price: $15.00

Community Airports brochure                 Community Airports sheet 

Les aéroports locaux brochure               Les aéroports locaux feuillet 

Court cases cited in this COPA Guide 

·         Johannesson V West St Paul (1952) 

·         Orangeville Airport Ltd V. Town of Caledon et al (1975) 

·         Venchiarutti V. Longhurst and Longhurst (1992) 

·         Greater Toronto Airports Authority V. The City of Mississauga (1998) 

·         Greater Toronto Airports Authority V. The City of Mississauga Appeal (2000) 

·         Mullaney V. Red Deer County (1999) 

·         Regional District of Comox-Strathcona V Hansen (2005) [The Cortez Island Case] 

·         Bernard Laferrière et Silvie Gervais vs Procurer Général du Québec 

·         Annabelle Lacombe et Jacques Picard et 3845443 Canada Inc v. Municipalité de Sacré-Cœur (Air Mauricie) 

·         Quebec (Attorney General) v. Lacombe, 2010 SCC 38 

·         Quebec (Attorney General) v. Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, 2010 SCC 39 

The Value of General Aviation Airports - Economic Impact Studies you can use.

COPA Guide to Building a Hangar   

·       This guide written by COPA members, Pat O’Cain and Michelle LaPointe from Kincardine, Ontario. 
‘’In the fall of year 2010, we built a private hangar on leased land at a registered aerodrome.  The process was confusing, we received conflicting advice and we made mistakes.  If we were to do it again, there are things we would do differently.  Our goal in writing this document is for you to benefit from our experience.’’
COPA member paper copy price $10.00. Non-member price: $15.00

COPA Guide to Enforcement 

·   Newly updated, this is a COPA guide to assist you when you find yourself the subject of a Transport Canada enforcement action, including what to expect, how the system works and how to deal with the investigation process and TATC (formerly CAT) appeal, if necessary. The guide deals with loss of medical appeals too. COPA Member paper copy price $10.00. Non-member price: $15.00

COPA Guide to Dealing with Aircraft Accidents 

·     This guide has been written by Garth Wallace to give information to pilots about the practical and psychological aspects of aircraft accidents. It is a wonderful guide for COPA Flights, local clubs and communities to use for accident planning - read it before you have an accident! COPA member paper copy price $10.00. Non-member price: $15.00 

COPA Guide to Certified Aircraft 

·     This is the world of traditional factory built aircraft that are certified to government standards – Cessnas, Pipers, Beechcraft and other well-known aircraft. Certified aircraft make up the majority of aircraft flying in Canada today! This guide will take you through some of the key things to know about certified aircraft including aircraft certification, STCs, LSTCs, ADs, annual inspections, “out-of-phase” maintenance items and more! COPA member paper copy price $20.00. Non-member price: $30.00


COPA Guide to the Owner-Maintenance Category 

·     This guide explains the background and regulations governing the Owner-Maintenance Aircraft Category. It includes everything you need to know to put an aircraft in the O-M category. COPA Member paper copy price $10.00. Non-member price: $15.00

COPA Guide to Ultralights 

·     An introduction to ultralight aircraft for both new pilots and experienced non-ultralight pilots! The guide includes sections on what ultralight airplanes are, which licences are required, regulations and operating cost reports on some typical ultralights to give a flavour for owning and flying these aircraft. There is also data on ultralight safety and answers to many questions about ultralights. COPA member paper copy price $20.00. Non-member price: $30.00

COPA Guide to Amateur-Builts 

·     This guide is designed as an introduction to amateur-built aircraft of all types. It takes the pilot new to amateur-builts through the whole spectrum of aircraft in this category, including airplanes, helicopters, gyroplanes, balloons, airships, gyrogliders and lots more. This Guide is designed to give you the background information that you will need to get involved in amateur-built aircraft, whether you are planning to design your own plane, build from plans, build a kit or buy a used amateur-built aircraft. It covers some of the pitfalls, regulations and choices available. It is designed to get you started! COPA member paper copy price $20.00. Non-member price: $30.00

COPA Guide to the Limited Class 

·    Welcome to the fascinating world of ex-military Warbirds, Soviet Bloc transports, jet trainers, military liaison aircraft, non-certified sailplanes from exotic parts of the world and many more unusual types of aircraft – the uniquely Canadian “limited class”. This Guide will walk the pilot or prospective owner of one of these aircraft through the new Canadian rules, covering the advantages and the pitfalls found in this diverse group or aircraft. COPA member paper copy price $20.00. Non-member price: $30.00.