Canada’s Largest Aviation Association Introduces Drone Membership Options – Bridging Gap between Traditional and Remote Aviation

OTTAWA, ON, May 14, 2021 /CNW/ – The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) – the largest aviation association in Canada – introduces new membership options to include the growing drone community.

Drones are profoundly changing the world of aviation, and as this new technology evolves, so too will its role in society. The remotely piloted aircraft are transforming Canadian businesses, enabling new insights and capabilities in disaster management, search and rescue, infrastructure, and countless other industries.

As a trusted leader in advancing and promoting aviation safety, and as a long-recognized voice for General Aviation in Canada, COPA is uniquely positioned to represent both traditional and remote aircraft pilots. A key objective in uniting these communities together is to support COPA’s ongoing efforts for safe integration of all airspace users. Traditional and remote aircraft pilots share common interests in safety and in protecting their freedom to fly.

COPA has been involved with drones and related matters for several years. The association has contributed to the development of popular RPAS tools, including the National Research Council of Canada’s drone site selection tool and has partnered with Canada’s aviation regulator to support education awareness initiatives.

In recognizing the importance of safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) into Canadian airspace, COPA is focusing its attention on the following areas: RPAS pilot training and certification; RPAS Traffic Management (RTM); Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Operations; RPAS airworthiness; detect and avoid; search and rescue; and the emergence of the next generation of RPAS.

“As RPAS pilots continue to carve out their place in aviation, COPA will support by providing the resources and community all pilots need to enhance their flying experience,” says Christine Gervais, COPA’s President and CEO. “This is an ideal time to embrace innovation within aviation, especially as many in traditional aviation have been affected by the impacts of COVID-19.”

“Welcoming the drone community will strengthen the aviation sector. And while fear of these new airspace users does exist, there are more benefits to finding common purpose between traditional and remote aviation. These newcomers to our skies are just getting started, and COPA will help unlock the immense potential of this maturing aviation technology.”

COPA RPAS Membership Benefits
COPA RPAS members can look to COPA for regular updates on the regulations or issues that affect their operations, for education and safety programs, insurance coverage, and significant training discounts.

  • Through Magnes and Coverdrone, COPA is offering its members an exclusive insurance program, for both recreational and commercial RPAS pilots. This insurance program, available nationwide, includes physical damage coverage, public and products liability; as well as professional and privacy breach liability coverage for commercial drone operations.
  • To support pilot development, COPA will be launching an RPAS scholarship. The scholarship targets pilots who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, an initiative to help retain the skills and talents of aviation within the sector.
  • Through involvement in industry and government working groups – including Transport Canada’s new Canadian Drone Advisory Committee (CanaDAC), COPA will advocate for enhancements to the current Canadian regulatory framework governing RPAS operations as well as other necessary policy development.
  • COPA will be launching several education materials, including guides, webinars and other resources to support pilot development. The organization is hosting RPAS panels, pilot recurrent training and other drone related workshops at its upcoming Virtual National Fly-In and Aviation Exhibition.

To learn more about COPA’s new membership options, visit copanational.org/rpas today.

About COPA
COPA represents over 15,000 pilots and aircraft owners across Canada and is the national voice for General Aviation in Canada. Through the mission of advancing, promoting, and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly, COPA is at the forefront on issues that affect pilots, aircraft and airports; and is an active partner with all levels of government in ensuring a bright future for General Aviation. For more information on COPA, visit copanational.org.