27 March 2015

LSA Sales Figures

Back the early 2000s, when I worked at COPA, we had some conversations with the good folks at EAA as they were advocating for the then-proposed Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) category. That category greatly borrowed from the Canadian experience with the Advanced Ultralight Aeroplane (AULA) category that we have had since 1991 and the resulting LSAs, on the market since 2004, are very similar aircraft.

EAA was very interested in our technical details, including our TP10141, the design standards for AULAs, as well as the aircraft that were already flying in the category here in Canada. We were happy to share our experiences, as I have flown quite a number of AULAs, doing reviews for COPA, including the Merlin, EZ-Flyer, CT2K and the Allegro.

Since I have been doing my annual analysis of the civil fleet numbers since that time, one thing that did come up was sales expectations. EAA was planning that the new LSA category would provide new, inexpensive and fun two seat aircraft and that it would revitalize the sagging American aviation market.

At that time we had had our AULA category for about 13 years and I pointed out that the national fleet had statistically increased by an average of 60 aircraft per year in that time. I noted that with a population that is ten times that of Canada, it would be reasonable to expect that US sales would be about 600 aircraft per year. The EAA rep indicated that after all the work that they had done that sales in that range would be a disaster for aviation in the US. He indicated that they had projected sales much higher than that, some 5,000-10,000 aircraft per year in the US. I thought at the time that would have to mean that Americans would have to be an average of at least ten times richer than Canadians, or at least ten times more interested in buying a new two seat airplane. I wished them luck and hoped he was right.

Over the years I have kept an eye out for LSA sales numbers. At one time Cessna had 1200 orders for their Cessna 162 SkyCatcher, which sounded very positive. In the end they only delivered 192 aircraft, with the remaining 80 unsold aircraft used for parts, when the company cancelled 162 production. In the case of that design, price increases and lacklustre performance drove buyers away.

So this week I was interested to see recent sales figures released. These show sales of 199 LSAs in 2014, down from 259 in 2012.

The leading builders in 2014 were:

  • CubCrafters - 50
  • Van's Aircraft - 26
  • Searey - 19

In overall production since 2004 for the US market Flight Design leads with 372 aircraft and CubCrafters is second, with 326 aircraft flying. In the case of Flight design that represents about 37 aircraft per year sold.

While these are great little aircraft I don't think the category has met expectations for revitalizing aviation in the USA.

17 March 2015

Mike Shaw to Retire as Flight 8 Captain

After more than 15 years at the helm of Flight 8, Captain Mike Shaw has decided to retire.

In a recent message to the flight members he explained his decision:

I have decided that since I expect to be travelling most of next winter, I should resign as Captain of Flight 8 effective the end of April 2015. It's been a pleasure and I have enjoyed all of your company over the years. I hope someone will step forward and assume this position, I still want to attend meetings when able.

Anyone interested in taking over the running of Flight 8 should contact Mike Shaw to put their name forward.

14 March 2015

Canadian Air Racing Team

By Mark McIntyre, Temper Tantrum Racing

My name is Mark McIntyre and I am an AME, pilot and a member of COPA Flight 193 in Saint John, New Brunswick. I have started a new project that I need a bit of help on so I thought I would reach out to other COPA members across Canada.

I’ve started an air racing team to compete in the Reno Air Races in the Formula One Division. I have gathered a large team of skilled volunteers for the build. However we are falling short on funding. So I started a Kickstarter Fund Raising Campaign. Below you will find the link to my campaign and a complete write up on what is going on, along with a short, 45 second video of the races.

With maximum exposure we can make this team competitive and showcase Canadian aviation on an international level.

External links

12 March 2015

Urgent Action: Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory (CARAC) developments

By Trekker Armstrong, Executive Chair, COPA

CARAC was established in 1993, and is a joint undertaking of the government and the aviation community, with participation from a large number of organizations outside Transport Canada with the intent of representing the overall viewpoint of the aviation community. COPA has been an active participant in these Focus Groups.

Transport Canada’s recent Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA #2013-014) on aerodromes does not reflect accurately the efforts of the Focus Group and will materially damage COPA’s hard work and progress. As written, the NPA would cater to opponents and discriminate against the interests of the aviation enthusiast. The NPA has potential to significantly impact recreational aviation in general, and private owners and operators, in particular.

Transport Canada now wants to move from a permissive environment to what they call “participatory decision making” to ensure that local land use authorities and the public have input and indeed a greater say in whether or not an aerodrome can be established and developed. Furthermore this is also being extended to non-certified new and existing aerodromes. COPA provided direct input on the extent of damage this initiative will cause. COPA’s response can be found on COPA’s National website.

Given the far-reaching potential of this initiative, the industry responded with an unprecedented amount of feedback calling for a Focus Group meeting which finally occurred in June 2014. COPA was in attendance.

In October 2014, COPA, along with other participants of the Focus Group, was completely surprised that an amendment to the Aeronautical Act was hidden as part of the Federal Government’s omnibus budget Bill C-43. None of the participants of the Focus Group had knowledge of this development, or it’s content. Had the Focus Group known that the initiative extended as far as the Act amendment proposes, there would have been considerably different discussions about the implications of the expanded applicability. Given that there was no discussion or consultation with industry about the Act amendment itself and the scope of the application, the Act amendment should have be pulled from Bill C-43 to permit a thorough discussion with the industry.

COPA submitted a brief to the House Standing Committee on Finance and appeared before the Senate Committee on Wednesday, 19 November 2014. At that time COPA’s President & CEO Kevin Psutka asked the House Standing Committee on Transport and the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications to vote in favor of returning the amendment to Transport Canada for consultation with the aviation industry.

Regardless of COPA’s and other industry efforts, Bill C-43 received Royal Assent on 16 December 2014 and is now law.

A continuation of the Focus Group meetings on the proposed Aerodrome NPA was planned for January 2015, but due to scheduling conflict, was postponed. In order to move forward with this initiative, Transport Canada indicated they would publish the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) through the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council Activity Reporting System in early March 2015. COPA received email notification of the NPA on 26 February 2015. The disadvantage of issuing the NPAs before the Focus Group convenes will make it more difficult to change many of the measures. Now Transport Canada has scheduled the NPA Focus Group to discuss the regulatory proposal on 31 March and 1 April 2015.

As COPA continues to work on this issue, we strongly recommend that every member read the Notice of Proposed Amendment on Aerodromes and send in your written response to the CARAC secretariat (carrac@tc.gc.ca) with copies to COPA (pgilligan@copanational.org). COPA is in the process of drafting its position brief and it will be available at COPA "Take Action". The cutoff date for comments on this proposed rulemaking is 8 April 2015.

This issue is so important that every member should contact their MPP, MLA or Provincial Transport Minister. Contact information. The time for comment is very short on this critical issue that is fundamental to your Freedom to Fly in Canada.

04 March 2015

Information Session Invitation - Ottawa Terminal Control Area Changes

By Michel Tremblay, Airspace & Procedure design Coordinator, Performance Based Navigation (PBN) OPI, ATC Team Supervisor, Ottawa, Qu├ębec Terminal, Nav Canada

As of 30 April 2015, the Ottawa Terminal Control Area size and classification will change. In order to efficiently communicate the changes to the pilot community and operators, Nav Canada will be hosting an information session at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum Theatre on 31 March 2015, 1900-2200 hrs. The session will be interactive and offer an opportunity to discuss the issues with air traffic control representatives.

Confirming your attendance will help improved planning for the evening. Please RSVP to Christiane Vinet.


02 March 2015

New Strict Proposed Regulations For New & Existing Aerodromes

URGENT ACTION, 8 April 2015 Deadline!

From Patrick Gilligan, COPA

Transport Canada has just sent a new strict proposed regulation for all aerodromes. A consultation requirement with 27 "onerous" public notification steps estimated by TC to cost new and existing aerodrome owners up to $60,000.

The most devastating requirements are:

  • The installation/aerodrome must adhere to local building and fire codes, no longer according to the National Building Code of Canada.
  • Information on the environmental status of the project, including any requirements under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

Public consultation

  1. The public consultation process will apply to:
    a. A new aerodrome development
     i. Within a built-up area of a city or town;
     ii. In non-built up areas if
      1. It is within 4000m of a built-up area of a city or town;
      2. It is in or within 4000m of a protected area; or
      3. It is within 30 nautical miles of a registered or certified aerodrome.
    b. An existing aerodrome development if
     i. modifications result in changes to existing level(s) of service or operation; or
     ii. modifications result or could reasonably result in change(s) to existing usage.
  2. Pre-Consultation: Proponents must notify NAV CANADA and Transport Canada of their aerodrome proposal regardless of the requirement to conduct a public consultation.

Action required

Until 8 April 2015, comments on this notice may be addressed, in writing, to:

CARAC Notice #2013-014 contact info: carrac@tc.gc.ca also please copy COPA’s National office by copying Patrick Gilligan who is the coordinator for COPA’s response.

Note: after this date, comments will no longer be considered in further revisions to the regulations and standards.

External links

01 March 2015

Progress on the Environmental Assessment at Toronto City Centre

By Cheryl Marek, Southern Ontario Director, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

In 2013 Ports Toronto proposed an extension of Runway 08-26 in order to allow for commercial jet flights into and out of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA) (formerly known as Toronto Island Airport) in response to a request from the airport’s anchor tenant, Porter Airlines.

To assess the Porter proposal, Ports Toronto (formerly Toronto Ports Authority) secured Swerhun Facilitation to develop and oversee public engagement in determining the scope and process for the EA and Airport Master Plan. To date (February 28), since November 2014, there have been about 7 Agency Advisory Committee (AAC) meetings, an Open House Day and 2 public input sessions, and 2 of 4 Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings. The 14 AAC groups include, for example: City of Toronto a) Waterfront Secretariat, b) Community Planning and c) Toronto Public Health; Build Toronto; Transport Canada; Greater Toronto Airports Authority; Province of Ontario a) Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and b) Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The 36 SAC include active participation by COPA, Toronto Island Pilots (TIPA - COPA Flight 32), Tourism Industry of Ontario, Porter Airlines, Toronto Financial District BIA, Air Canada, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Trans Capital Air, Stolport Corporation, and a couple dozen environmental, boating, waterfront, neighbourhood groups. Detailed comments from all meetings (recorded during or submitted in writing or by phone) that inform the processes are found at BBTCA Runway EA website under the various drop down menus.

The Draft EA, to be discussed at the March 3 and 10 SAC meetings, will assess effects from the following two future scenarios:

  1. No amendments to the Tripartite Agreement are implemented; and
  2. Tripartite Agreement is amended to permit commercial jet operations and the extension of Runway 08-26.

I look forward to comments you may have, especially with respect to General Aviation at BBCTA.

The update of the 2012 Airport Master Plan is addressed through a conceptual design developed by Ports Toronto that could accommodate the requested runway extension, as well as noise and other mitigation measures that could be required as a result of commercial jet flights. The proposed design and operational changes to the runway are described in Ports Toronto’s 2015 Master Planning exercise. More details are found on the BBTCA Runway EA Public Meetings page under February 26 Master Planning Presentation and Master Planning Handouts.