The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) is a federally registered not-for-profit association that provides information and advocacy services for Canadian pilots who fly for non-commercial purposes. COPA has about 16,000 members which ranks it as the largest aviation association of any kind in Canada.
COPA was formed in 1952 by Ottawa aviators Margaret Carson and John Bogie. They saw the need for an organization to represent the interests of private pilots to the government of Canada. Their model was the US-based Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) which had been formed 13 years earlier in 1939. After meeting with AOPA principals and receiving encouragement from them, COPA was set up with its headquarters in Carson’s garage. As the association grew they hired their first paid employees and moved into more permanent offices. Bogie became the association’s first president and today continues to serve as an honorary director. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, "John Bogie: A Lifetime in Aviation," Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, (Spring 2009)