July 13, 2012
Frederick, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has created an advisory group of 10 flying clubs as part of the association’s efforts to help pilots fly more frequently and affordably. The advisory group, which is operationally diverse and geographically balanced nationwide, will focus on how flying clubs can create a sense of community among aviators.
Starting in 2011, AOPA conducted significant research into flying clubs, including six focus groups, individual interviews with more than 800 flying club members and an Internet survey of more than 250 flying club leaders. A link to the survey is here: http://aopa.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8vUCJX155s8jqmg .
AOPA’s research found that flying clubs play a significant role in the aviation community. More than half of all active pilots are past or present members of a flying club, and virtually all of them consider club membership as a positive experience.
“It’s clear that flying clubs are an important part of the fabric of aviation. They make flying more affordable and accessible, often in a social environment that keeps pilots active and engaged,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “It only makes sense that AOPA has committed to a long-term initiative that aims to support the development and growth of the flying club community.”
Areas of focus will include: marketing and promotion of flying clubs on a nationwide and local level; assistance with the startup of new flying clubs; resources to help leaders manage their clubs more easily; and opportunities to network with other clubs. More details on this initiative will be announced at AOPA Summit in October.
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.