By Kevin Psutka, COPA President and CEO
Normally, COPA does not announce changes of this sort because members should be making it a regular habit of checking the Aeronautical Information Circulars (AICs) and Service Project Announcements instead of relying on COPA to do that job for them. However, these changes on 7 March affect a large concentration of our members and they present an opportunity to re-emphasize the need to periodically check these important sources of information so that you are not surprised by changes and unable to communicate in a time of need.
COPA has a link on the bottom of the front page of our web site regarding the RCO project and it has been there for several years. The link explains why the system is changing as well as provides links to Nav Canada’s web site where more information as well as maps of the RCO frequencies can be found. Another way to find out what frequency is available for an FIC in the area where you fly is to check the current CFS. Frequencies are listed under the name of the FIC (Pacific (Kamloops), Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, Quebec, Halifax, Whitehorse, Arctic (North Bay)).
Members should note in their calendars the dates when AICs are introduced and check the AICs on these dates for the latest updates. For changes to the RCO network and other service projects, announcements will be made here. Note, for example, the increase in size of the restricted area around Petawawa, which will impact those who fly up the Ottawa River VFR corridor when the larger area is in place by NOTAM, and the airspace review underway in Alberta.
Don’t get caught with a need to reach an FIC but wondering why you can’t reach them. Stay in the know by checking AICs and Service Announcements.