H O F T E C
COPA is a member of IAOPA, the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Operators. The dues you pay for COPA membership help IAOPA to make representations to the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO.
Perhaps you think that ICAO concerns itself with only airline matters, or with international flights. Whereas that had been largely true in years gone by, dating back to 1944 and the Chicago Convention founding ICAO, such is not the case today. ICAO very much influences your flight around the patch on a Sunday afternoon. Not only did 9-11 change the world, but technology and the demands placed on operators by technology make what happens at ICAO very much your concern.
As an example, and in just this year (2005):
The temptation is to attend only those meetings which appear relevant. Unfortunately, because one never knows what forces surface during a meeting, it is important to attend all meetings. That commitment to 'keep an ear to the ground' costs time and money.
- IAOPA fought hard on your behalf on the issue of flight training standards (and therefore your grand-childrenís ability to one day have an affordable licence).
- If the security people had their way airport security everywhere would be such that you couldnít get to your own airplane anymore. It was an argument of: How are you going to close off all the lakes from which floatplanes fly? presented to the authorities which helped reason to prevail.
- IAOPA is working with the various AOPAs to minimize the effect of the new English language requirements and the retesting of the pilotís language proficiency.
- IAOPA spent two days in Washington, and at numerous meetings at ICAO, on the ELT issue. IAOPA won a late implementation date, 2009, for equipage of the 406 ELT, and won the concession that the ELTs need not be of the fixed automatic type. The opening gambit by the Search and Rescue lobby was to equip each aircraft with 2 ELTs, one fixed and automatic and one other. Luckily IAOPA was able to introduce reason into the demands. IAOPA's input resulted in any kind of ELT to be permitted for installation into GA aircraft. This will permit one ELT to serve several aircraft.
- IAOPA has made representations at various meetings about the need to introduce Safety Management Systems notions at all levels. IAOPA attempts to differentiate the needs of large operators from those of the smaller ones.
The world of aviation is becoming increasingly complicated and intertwined. The grab for airspace - from above by the airlines and from below by radio towers, and at GA flight levels by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs),- require action by IAOPA at the highest level - ICAO. The introduction of very heavy aircraft such as the Airbus 380 will cause delays at terminals due to increased separation between these and other aircraft, making the sky still less available to GA operations. Somebody has to stand up and shout on behalf of GA, and, unfortunately, IAOPA is the only voice at ICAO exercising that mandate.
You should also consider that COPA not only interacts with Transport Canada in Ottawa on your behalf, but also with Transport Canada representatives at ICAO, through COPA's IAOPA representative at ICAO.
It is your membership in COPA, and all other aviation organizations, which permits GA's voice to be heard at ICAO and other government levels. Please keep supporting your Freedom to Fly by maintaining membership.