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COPA for Kids officials hope event grows love of flying in next generation

A group of local pilots are hoping that an interest in flying really takes off for Grande Prairie youth. COPA for Kids, which offers free flights for children and youth ages 8 to 17, reached maximum capacity of 134 children in just 24 hours.

Coordinator Teresa Boudreault hopes some future pilots may be in that lucky group of 134.

“There’s going to be a huge gap in commercial pilots here in probably the next 10 to 30 years so who knows, it might spark an interest in job opportunities for one of these kids.”

Nine pilots are currently donating their time, planes and fuel that day to take up as many kids as possible. Boudreault believes the pilots view the event as their way of giving back.

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“So many of the pilots as they were little guys took a look at planes out there or had someone with a small plane come and land and kind of awed at it and it just kind of sparked that interest… They just want to give back to the kids and let them get a taste of flying and what it feels like in a small aircraft.”

Registration is now closed as capacity has been reached. Weather permitting, flights will leave the Grande Prairie Airport starting at 10 a.m. on August 31st.

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