COPA eFlight
Jan. 1, 2015

Premier of Ontario proceeds with aviation fuel tax increase — Time for COPA members to take action
By Kevin Psutka, COPA president and CEO
From July 10: 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. More

Ontario pilots worried about wind turbines after US crash
CTV News
From May 8: Fears have reignited in southwestern Ontario after a fatal plane crash involving a wind turbine in South Dakota that left four people dead. Garry Sheperd has been flying for over 30 years. He's a seasoned pilot, and he's not pleased about the wind turbines he's now sharing the skies with. "The ones we've got coming to our backyards here are 400 feet at present, but the new generation are 500 feet. In Europe they're over 700 feet and it's just a matter of time before there's a conflict." More

Duplication in Border red tape for General Aviation — Mexico and Canada
By Patrick Gilligan, COPA vice president of operations
From April 17: Mexico's electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) and soon to be Canadian Border Services Agency, Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) will make cross border flying much more complicated and may dissuade pilots from flying between countries. More

Would you hesitate to declare an emergency?
General Aviation News
From Oct. 16: According to author Jeffrey Madison: The fact that all three of my passengers were throwing up simultaneously left me three options. I could have toughed it out and pressed on to our destination; joined them in their nauseous state; or declared an emergency and got the hell on the ground. More

Minister's response on Waterville airport closure falls short
By Kevin Psutka, COPA president and CEO
From May 15: The minister's letter, distancing the province from aviation, is no surprise. The National Airports Policy is achieving its goal — to reduce the number of airports in Canada. "Much of the Canadian transportation system is overbuilt: 94 per cent of all air passengers and cargo use only 26 of 726 airports" and "Each community will be in a position to determine the future role of its airport." More

Ontario election issue — Taxes on aviation
By Kevin Psutka, COPA president and CEO
From May 29: When I wrote a letter to Ontario Premier Wynne immediately after the budget was released, and followed up with a request for Ontario members to contact their MPPs, an election had not been called. Now that one is in progress, I contacted the three major parties — Liberal, PC, NDP — for their position on the issue of increasing the tax on aviation gasoline and whether or not they will do anything to improve the airport infrastructure. More

Small plane over Ontario loses contact with air traffic controller
From Sept. 18: Transport Canada has released information about a recent incident over the skies of Windsor where a small private plane cruising over the city did not respond to numerous instructions by Windsor Airport's air traffic controllers in Ontario. In a preliminary report published recently, Transport Canada noted they received information from air traffic controllers at Nav Canada that a privately registered, single engine Piper PA-28R-200 propeller plane did not respond to numerous air traffic control requests while a WestJet Boeing 737 was approaching to land. More

Norwegian F-16 pilot shoots incredible footage from the cockpit
From March 27: Still regretting that decision to not join the armed forces and be trained as a pilot? Now you can see what you're missing out on. This video — shot by a Norwegian fighter pilot while zooming around in an F-16 jet during a training exercise — gives viewers a cockpit view of life in the danger zone. The unidentified pilot also took a more traditional selfie. More

Who will ultimately determine the fate of aerodromes?
By Kevin Psutka, COPA president and CEO
From Jan. 16: When I took this job in 1996, the number one issue that occupied my time was aerodromes, from the right to have an aerodrome on your property to ensuring that a system of airports serving GA remains and that our sector continues to have access to larger airports with minimal fees and restrictions. More

Drones pose new risk for aircraft in Canadian skies
Toroton Star
From July 17: As the Porter Airlines flight set up for its approach to Washington, D.C.'s Dulles airport on a recent flight from Toronto, the pilots suddenly found they had some company in the skies — a drone. The black and silver unmanned aircraft was spotted 850 metres above the ground and came within 15 metres of the Porter Dash 8 turboprop, according to a preliminary Transport Canada report. The aircraft landed safely and police were notified about the mid-air rendezvous. More