Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Further Embraces UAS Community

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a general aviation group that has been around since 1939, is further embracing the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) sector by offering new membership options.

According to an article from AOPA’s Jim Moore, aviation has undergone several changes since the group’s founding – with the UAS sector being “among the most dramatic.”

Therefore, AOPA says it is staying “faithful to [its] core missions” of “promoting safety, preserving the freedom to fly and building the next generation of pilots” by launching new types of memberships specifically for the drone community.

The goal? To “unite manned and unmanned pilots for the common purpose of safe integration” in national airspace, says AOPA.

For education, the group has partnered with DARTdrones, a provider of UAS training, which will be offered at no cost to AOPA members. They will also receive a “significant discount” on test prep for Part 107 certification.

In addition, AOPA says it will be rolling out drone demos, seminars, webinars and podcasts this year. The group is also introducing new UAS-related content under its AOPA Air Safety Institute, which provides educational resources such as quizzes.

The group is also offering “legal counsel and representation” from attorneys under its “Pilot Protection” memberships, and under its insurance program, AOPA is also now serving UAS pilots.

Last year, AOPA – a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s long-term Drone Advisory Committee – also appointed a senior director of UAS programs, Kathleen Swain.

“We’re providing the community and resources all pilots need,” Swain says.

The full coverage from AOPA can be found here.


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