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Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
File:AOPA logo.png
Type Not for profit
Founded 1939
Headquarters Frederick, Maryland, United States
Membership Individuals and companies
Field Aviation advocacy
Number of Members Worldwide 384,915 (2012)
Founder P.T. Sharples
Chairman of the Board Bill Trimble III
President & CEO Mark Baker (September 6, 2013)[1]

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is a Frederick, Maryland-based American non-profit political organization that advocates for general aviation.

Incorporated on 15 May 1939, AOPA's membership consists mainly of general aviation pilots in the United States.[2] 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.[3]

With 384,915 members in 2012,[4] 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).[3][5][6]


AOPA has several programs.

  • AOPA Foundation, is AOPA’s 501(c)(3) charitable organization.[7] 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.[8]
  • 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.[7]
  • GA Serves America, was created to promote general aviation to the public.[7]
  • 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.[9]

See also


External links

  • Official website
  • AOPA Air Safety Institute
  • General Aviation Serves America
  • AOPA USA's Let's Go Flying
  • Hagley Museum and Library
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