Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
|Type||Not for profit|
|Headquarters||Frederick, Maryland, United States|
|Membership||Individuals and companies|
|Number of Members Worldwide||384,915 (2012)|
|Chairman of the Board||Bill Trimble III|
|President & CEO||Mark Baker (September 6, 2013)|
Incorporated on May 15, 1939, with C. Towsend Ludington serving as the first president, AOPA's membership consists mainly of general aviation pilots in the United States. AOPA exists to serve the interests of its members as aircraft owners and pilots, and to promote the economy, safety, utility, and popularity of flight in general aviation aircraft. In 1971 the organization purchased Airport World Magazine, moving its operations to Bethesda, Maryland.
With 384,915 members in 2012, AOPA is the largest aviation association in the world, although since 2010 it has decreased in membership from 414,224, a loss of 7% in two years. AOPA is affiliated with other similar organizations in other countries though membership in the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA).
AOPA has several programs.
- AOPA Foundation, is AOPA’s 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The foundation's four goals are to improve General aviation safety (under the auspices of its Air Safety Institute), grow pilot population, preserve and improve community airports, and provide a positive image of general aviation.
- AOPA Political Action Committee, is just for AOPA members. Through lobbying, it represents the interests of general aviation to Congress, the Executive Branch, and state and local governments. The AOPA PAC campaigns in favor of federal, state and local candidates that support their policies and oppose those who do not through advertising and membership grassroots campaigns.
- GA Serves America, was created to promote general aviation to the public.
- Legal Services Plan/Pilot Protection Services, provides AOPA members with legal defense against alleged FAA enforcement charges as well as assistance obtaining an FAA flight medical. Enrollment in Pilot Protection Services is only open to AOPA members and requires an additional payment above dues. The Legal Services Plan was combined with the former medical program in May 2012 under the name Pilot Protection Services. The Legal Services Plan was created in June 1983.
- Air Safety Institute (formerly the Air Safety Foundation) is a separate nonprofit, tax exempt organization promoting safety and pilot proficiency in general aviation through quality training, education, research, analysis, and the dissemination of information.
- Canadian Owners and Pilots Association - similar organization established in Canada in 1952.
- Experimental Aircraft Association - Similar organization focused on homebuilt aircraft
- Grady, Mary. "AOPA Names Mark Baker As New President - AVweb flash Article". Avweb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Flying Magazine: 76. August 1945.
- Nick Komons (August 1989). Air Progress: 62.
- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (undated). "History of AOPA". Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- Air Progress: 20. September 1971.
- IAOPA Statistical Report World Assembly, April 2012, retrieved 1 August 2012
- IAOPA Statistical Report World Assembly, June 2010, retrieved 1 August 2012
- "International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations". Iaopa.org. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Fuller, Craig. "Engage in AOPA". Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- "AOPA foundation". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- AOPA Pilot June, 1983
- "Air Safety Institute". AOPA. Retrieved 2014-01-23.