Only the best Flight Training Schools, Clubs and General Aviation related businesses are Corporate members of AOPA. Find out more and apply below.
The Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association (AOPA) is the world’s largest and most influential aviation membership association representing General Aviation (GA), with national AOPA organisations in 72 Countries over 6 Continents.
While each national AOPA is an independent organisation, they all belong to the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Organisations (IAOPA). IAOPA itself is organised into 5 Regions:
- IAOPA Africa-Indian Ocean Region
- IAOPA European Region
- IAOPA North America Region
- IAOPA South America Region
- IAOPA Asian Region
Through IAOPA, AOPA UK has direct representation at ICAO, where aviation standards and recommended practices (SARPS) originate. IAOPA is the only GA Organisation with a permanent seat at ICAO.
AOPA UK is the trading name of The British Light Aviation Centre Limited, a Private Company limited by guarantee without share capital. It operates as a “Not for Commercial Gain” organisation and any profit made from our activities is re-invested in AOPA UK, not paid to shareholders.
In the UK, AOPA UK has provided representation to the Flight Training Industry (ATO's and DTO's), Airfields and Maintenance Organisations for over 50 Years. We have established engagment with the CAA through the Training and Education Working Group, which focuses on pilot training,licensing issues and regulation, and the AOPA Maintenance Working Group, which brings together Owners, Maintainers, CAA and LAA.
No other UK GA Organisation has the direct reach that AOPA UK does.
By far the majority of our operating costs are met by membership fees, largely from individual members but also from a growing number of Businesses, Organisations or Groups with a GA interest and who see the benefit of AOPA UK’s work to their business or operation.
There is no obligation or compulsion to join AOPA UK, unlike some other aviation organisations and associations, yet all of GA benefits from the successes of AOPA UK engaging with and influencing Regulators, Politicians, Government Departments, Local Authorities, etc.
AOPA UK represents the whole of GA, not just a narrow sector to the detriment of other sectors.
GA operates in a highly regulated environment (sometimes over regulated). Regulatory changes are normally slow, working on a cycle of several years between proposal and implementation. Consequently many business plans are predicated on an expectation that there will be time to prepare for and implement any changes. It is effectively an ecosystem that has evolved in the “natural rhythms” of the regulatory environment. Many GA businesses cannot react to sudden rapid change to this environment.
Therefore, when changes are proposed to regulation or through sudden national variations (derogations) that are too rapid for GA business to adapt to, AOPA UK will, and does, raise concerns with the relevant parties. This may make us look as though we are anti-change, but this is not the case. We are as pro-change and relaxation of regulation that is harming GA as anyone, perhaps more so, but not if the overall impact on GA business has not been considered or assessed.
There is no obligation or compulsion to join AOPA UK, unlike some other aviation organisations and associations, yet all of GA benefits from the successes of AOPA UK engaging with and influencing Regulators, Politicians, Government Departments, Local Authorities, etc. Some of our achievements:
- Had it not been for AOPA UK’s intervention the duty on AVGAS would be 50% greater than it is today, saving around 35p per litre
- National Private Pilot’s Licence
- There are no VFR navigation charges for private flights in aircraft of less than 2000 Kg
- Successful pressure to slow down the introduction of 8.33 MHz radios and Mode S Transponders
- Prevented the mandatory use of ELTs so that PLBs can be used instead
- Strasser Scheme to waive landing fees for emergency diversions
- No VFR En-route navigation charges for sub 2000 Kg aircraft
- Introduction of the Declared Training Organisation (DTO) for PPL training organisations
- Sensible relaxation of restrictions for GA during COVID-19 pandemic
Sometimes success is marked by “nothing happening”. We continue to keep our eye on:
- Part M Lite - reduced cost maintenance regime for Part-21 aircraft and Self-Declared Maintenance Programmes.
- The regulatory burden on ATO’s and RTF’s.
- Promoting an easier route to a full IR for Private Pilots
- Ensuring GA is not overlooked in UK Airspace modernisation project.
- E-borders and any impact on GA
- Planning guidelines to make Aerodromes less vulnerable to non-aviation development
- Ensuring all regulation is proportionate and evidence based
- Integrating GA and Drones
- any other threats or opportunities for GA that arise.