About the scholarship

The COPA Neil J. Armstrong Ab-Initio Scholarship promotes Canadian pilot development by providing annual scholarships to a student pilot in an ab-initio flight training program. Created to honour one of Canada’s foremost aviators, the scholarship has helped many Canadian pilots get their wings.

COPA’s Neil J. Armstrong Ab-Initio Scholarship provides up to $14,000 toward eligible training costs associated with obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL).

Apply for the scholarship

See below for eligibility criteria. Applications for the 2024 COPA Neil J. Armstrong Ab-Initio Scholarship must be submitted by March 14, 2024.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 21 as of the application deadline.
  • Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Applicants for the Ab-Initio Scholarship must not: at the time of application, been granted any pilot privileges including: Private Pilot’s License, Recreational Pilot License, Ultra Light Pilot Permit or Soaring / Glider License. (Applicants may be the holder of a student pilot permit), and have not completed more than 10 hours of flight training.
  • The review committee may consider candidates with more than 10 hours in certain circumstances, particularly where the training has occurred over an extended period.

Ineligible Applicants

  • Individuals who have been granted any pilot privileges, including, without limitation, a Private Pilots License, Recreational Pilot License, Ultra Light Pilot Permit or a Soaring/Glider License. (Applicants may however be the holder of a student pilot permit).
  • Applicants may receive other scholarships and bursaries to assist with their flight training, however applicants who have been awarded the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Power Flying Scholarship, or any other programs that result in a Private Pilot License will not be eligible for the COPA Neil J. Armstrong Ab-Initio Scholarship.
  • To ensure that as many aviators can benefit, successful applicants from previous years of this scholarship are not eligible to re-apply.

The winning candidate(s) may select the facility at which the flight training is to be taken, subject to the approval of COPA. The training facility shall be a licensed Flying School or educational institute in Canada with facilities satisfactory to COPA and shall agree to the conditions of the scholarship. COPA will pay the Flight Training Unit directly and may disburse funds to cover instructional materials and other course costs at the beginning of training. Candidates must be members of COPA in good standing for the entirety of the training period.

Winning candidates agree to participate in future COPA promotional activities.

Training shall be completed in a reasonable period of time, usually not longer than one year from commencement. In the event the recipient does not make satisfactory progress or does not conduct himself/herself in a manner consistent with the intention of the award, COPA shall have the right to revoke the award and to cease paying any further costs of training. Progress reports from the training facility will be provided to COPA as required.

Eligible costs of training include the following:

  • costs of ground school, including books and required materials for the courses;
  • costs of instructor time and training aircraft;
  • the direct flight training portion of tuition in programs offered by secondary or post-secondary schools, including colleges and universities.

Costs that are not covered include the following:

  • Non flight training tuition costs at secondary or post-secondary schools, including colleges and universities. Those seeking assistance with such costs should apply to the Scholarship and bursary programs usually available through those institutions. (E.g., Scholarships cannot be used to pay any part of the tuition of a college or university program where flight training costs are subsidized).
  • Personal meals or transportation to and from the training facility.
  • Clothing.
  • Aviation equipment or supplies which are not required for the program (ex: headsets, flight bags, e-tablets, etc).

Any funds remaining at the conclusion of training will be reinvested in COPA’s Flight Safety Foundation for future scholarship awards.


Jan 01 2024 - Mar 14 2024


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