Nanaimo, B.C. – For more than 21 years, Ken Welte has volunteered as an aviation instructor at the Air Cadet squadron in Nanaimo and supervises field exercises for youth. He has also taken ‘young eagles’ flying through the Canadian Owners Pilot Association (COPA) for Kids program and donated his time to the Nanaimo Flying Club as their fuel director. His enthusiasm has inspired countless people, including his daughter, who is a pilot attending university, and his son, who now serves with the Canadian Air Force.
Ken is hoping to share his experience and passion for aviation by serving on COPA’s Board of Directors in the BC & Yukon division. This is his first time running in the elections and if he wins, he will volunteer for four years to help COPA promote and preserve Canadians’ freedom to fly. The federally-registered, not-for-profit association provides information and advocacy services for Canadian recreational pilots.
For his election campaign, Ken has created a few videos, including one in which he sits casually on the step of his small aircraft. “It’s not particularly sexy; it’s not particularly fast, but it’s my bird that I use to show aviation to as many people as are willing to listen,” he says into the camera. He reminisces about the young people who have felt the rush of flying in his plane.
He shares a key issue compelling him to run for the COPA Board of Directors: “The cost of aviation is the most direct threat that we have to the growth of general aviation in the next several years.”
As a COPA director, Ken would strive to maintain recreational access to airspace and airports. “With the cost of running commercial aviation, there is always push back to general aviation (GA) by commercial airports and operations, However, all commercial pilots start out as GA pilots while they build experience, so reasonable costs and access to airspace and airports ensure access for training of upcoming professional pilots.”
For more information about COPA and the board elections, visit: https://copanational.org
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