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AOPA, COPA urge reciprocity for GA medical requirementsAOPA, COPA urge reciprocity for GA medical requirements

AOPA and the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) sent a joint letter to the FAA and Transport Canada, urging their respective governments to develop certain reciprocities with regard to each other’s medical certification regimes.

A Cirrus SR20 GTS in flight. Photo by Chris Rose.

As more pilots choose to operate under new medical alternatives, reducing the regulatory burden will benefit general aviation and each country’s economy—especially the travel and tourism industries.

“AOPA welcomes Canadian pilots to fly in the United States, and I believe a new partnership will not only benefit both countries’ economies but will also allow general aviation to thrive well beyond U.S. borders,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Qualifications to obtain U.S. and Canadian pilot and medical certificates are similar, and I see no reason as to why we can’t operate safely in each other’s airspace.”

More than 11,000 pilots have taken advantage of the new BasicMed medical alternative in the United States. Not long after its launch, the Bahamas agreed to allow pilots flying under BasicMed in their airspace.

Many U.S. and Canadian pilots would like to travel in bordering countries but are restricted because of these limitations. Leaders at AOPA and COPA hope the FAA and Transport Canada will come to an agreement.

COPA is asking the FAA to expand the special flight authorization (SFA) regime to include Canadian certified, limited, and amateur-built aircraft operated by Canadian recreational pilots.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with our partners, including AOPA, FAA and Transport Canada, to reduce cross-border regulatory burden faced by general aviation pilots,” said COPA President Bernard Gervais. “Developing a reciprocal agreement around our two countries’ medical regimes will create opportunity and facilitate general aviation, contributing to economic growth for communities on both sides of the border.”

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Advocacy, Medical Reform, Airspace

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