Safety The Main Issue: COPA
Psutka says COPA's only recourse now is to launch an appeal to the Canadian Transportation Agency, the government body that oversees matters such as this. He said the daily charge violates a fundamental safety consideration that resulted in the flat fee (currently $71 CAD per year for aircraft weighing less than 4,400 pounds). The daily charge will apply to Canada's most capable airports in terms of weather operating ability, facilities and services. Psutka says the charge, even though it's only $10, could influence pilots to use an alternative airport that may, for instance, not have a precision approach, rather than submit to the charge. He said the flat charge was specifically instituted so that financial considerations did not enter the flight-planning process. But while the new charge on private recreational aircraft is getting the limelight, fees have also risen on larger aircraft. For instance, the daily charges on propeller aircraft weighing more than 6,600 pounds (MTOW) have gone up on a sliding scale, based on weight, to a minimum of $39 and a maximum of $2,441 (for propeller aircraft weighing more than 47,000 pounds). Bizjet owners will pay $193 for planes up to 13,600 pounds and $318 for aircraft weighing up to 16,500 pounds. Airlines are charged directly based on a more complex set of user-pay criteria.