The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is a worldwide Community for anyone with an interest in General Aviation (GA) activities whether a:
- Pilot (Private and Commercial)
- Aircraft Owner (any manned Aircraft - Balloon to Jet)
- Airfield Operator
- Flight Training Business
- Flying Club
- Aircraft Maintainer
Spanning 75 Countries, each with a National AOPA, we form International AOPA (IAOPA), which is the largest and most influential aviation community in the World, representing all of General Aviation from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to the field you fly from.
No other General Aviation Association can match that!
The priority for AOPA UK is to represent and lobby for General Aviation wherever and whenever it is needed. As a member of AOPA UK you will receive from us these key benefits of membership:
- Representation and lobbying on your behalf
- Personal advice when you need it for any aspect of your flying; training, licensing, medical, regulation, insurance, aircraft ownership, aircraft maintenance, infringements, potential prosecution, airspace, airfield operation or use, flying abroad, etc.
- Regular communication; AOPA Magazine, Enewsletters, Website, Social Media
- Access to Working Groups and Training and Education Committee
- FREE Student Pilot Membership
Over and above the core benefits of being a member, as above, we try to provide our members with other tangible benefits through access to discounted or promotional offers. These vary in value and availability. For the latest offers see this page
AOPA have the most complete network of contacts where it matters.
Welcome to AOPA UK - Join and become part of the Community and share the cost of protecting your flying interests. Read on if you would like to know more.
The origins of AOPA UK go back to 1928 when the 'Council of Light Aeroplane Clubs' was formed as a subsidiary of The Royal Aero Club. The Royal Aero Club also had extensive air racing and social interests as well as general flying interests.
The Council split from the Royal Aero Club after the Second World War and became independent as the 'Association of British Aero Clubs and Centres'.
In 1966 the 'Association of British Aero Clubs and Centres' merged with the 'Aviation Centre of the Royal Aero Club', which had by now also separated off from the Royal Aero Club, to form the 'British Light Aviation Centre', BLAC Ltd, as a company limited by guarantee and not for profit.
As a totally independent non-profit organisation, supporting General Aviation (GA), BLAC Ltd were invited to join the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (IAOPA) and trade as AOPA UK. Thus AOPA UK, the trading name of BLAC Ltd, was born.
AOPA UK is recognised by the UK Government and the CAA, along with many other bodies, as a representative organisation for GA.
Equally, as part of IAOPA our voice is heard at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which generates resolutions and policies, the source of subsequent regulation affecting your interests in GA.
IAOPA has established regional IAOPA's. In the case of AOPA UK we are also part of IAOPA Europe. Through IAOPA Europe, we will continue to network, share ideas and adopt common positions where relevant to support General Aviation after the UK leaves EASA.
Therefore, as a member of AOPA UK you voice is heard at all relevant levels, without any influence from any outside source.
It is an absolute requirement that, to be able to use the AOPA name, AOPA UK must be totally independent from any external influence, other than the views of our members.
You can read more about IAOPA Polices and Positions and how IAOPA works - HERE.
Much of our success is achieved without fanfare, as a result of building a network of well placed contacts who can be approached personally on an informal basis, to discuss views and ideas.
Of course, much is achieved in working groups and committees as part of the formal process of consultation in the UK, Europe and ICAO.
We would list these points to illustrate our work and principles:
- Over 50 Years of networking and contact building
- We promote the whole spectrum of GA, not just a narrow sector to the detriment of others
- Opposing airspace changes that exclude GA
- Promoting proportional and data based regulation
- Opposing regulation that is not proportional or datat based
- Promoting self-handling for GA at Airports
- Opposing airfield closures for non-aviation related development
- Promoting availability of flight training at unlicensed airfields
- Promoting easier to achieve licences and ratings
How does this work benefit you?
- We were instrumental in the development and introduction of the UK National Private Pilots Licence (NPPL).
- We were the first to campaign for a poor weather rating, which resulted in the IMC Rating (much opposed at first by other organisations).
- We were successful in having AVGAS treated as a special fuel, with a much reduced duty rate saving you money on every hour you fly.
- We persuaded EASA not to introduce VFR Navigation charges for aircraft up to 2000 Kg. This concession is saving you around £20 per hour. We continue fighting to retain it.
- We were fully involved in the campaign to have the Part-M Aircraft Maintenance regulation reviewed by EASA and replace it with a lighter regime for private aircraft.
- We were fully involved in the revision of PPL training at EASA and will continue involvement with the UK CAA post EASA
- We have been campaigning for a basic Instrument Rating for Private Pilots, which is now a reality.
- We have provided personal assistance to hundreds of pilots who have fallen foul of the CAA (and some who have fallen foul of European Regulators), saving many a court appearance.
- We have successfully campaigned for an appropriate response to regulatory offences, including infringements, not automatic prosecution.
- We have influenced the revision of Flight Training facility regulations, giving Student Pilots a wider choice of where to learn to fly.
- We were the first GA Association to seek sensible alleviations during the COVID-19 restrictions.
- We are the only GA Association to have an interest in the UK Flight Training Industry through our Corporate membership.
- We are committed to ensuring safe shared access to airspace for GA with the increasing use of "drones" and other unpiloted aircraft.
- We will focus on making GA environmentally friendly and meet future environmental targets.
No-one else achieves more, and continues, to help you keep flying and protect your investment in GA.
No-one else has the reach of AOPA together with IAOPA.