New partnership program helps pilots fly more, spend less

June 2, 2011


AOPA has launched a new program that helps pilots cut the total cost of ownership by 50 percent or more.

Using a secure database management system, the AOPA Aircraft Partnership Program helps pilots and aircraft owners identify, match, and connect with other pilots interested in reducing the cost of aircraft acquisition and ownership.

“As the world’s largest association for aircraft owners and pilots, AOPA is always looking for ways to reduce the cost of flying for our members,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Pilots who connect with even a single person to co-own an aircraft have effectively reduced the cost of aircraft acquisition and ownership by 50 percent.”

“Unlike a car, an aircraft typically doesn’t get used every day. So it makes perfect fiscal sense to share the total cost of ownership with one, two, or three other pilots, reducing each person’s cost of owning such a valuable asset,” added Fuller.

The idea of sharing an aircraft certainly is not a new one. However, until now, the only real alternative for pilots was searching FBO bulletin boards. Today AOPA provides an Internet-based tool that allows pilots, flying clubs, fractional operators, and even businesses to identify and locate other pilots and businesses already interested in co-owning an aircraft.

AOPA members and nonmembers alike who opt in to the program can access a secure online database that enables them to post a comprehensive profile and search for suitable co-owners using a wide variety of search criteria outlining key factors for ownership compatibility—including type of aircraft desired, budget, nearby airports to base, flying experience, and more. The database already includes nearly 10,000 pilots who are interested in reducing the cost of flying through co-ownership.

The process is simple. Pilots can create a free confidential “Partner Profile” to help determine their compatibility with potential co-owners. To sell shares of an aircraft, memberships in a flying club, or cooperative or fractional ownership opportunities, AOPA members can create a “Share for Sale” listing for only $10 a month ($20 per month for non-AOPA members).

The Aircraft Partnership Program also provides secure and discreet communications between members to ensure privacy. The system can even notify AOPA members and nonmembers via email when a new profile is posted that meets personal compatibility requirements.

“By effectively lowering the cost of aircraft acquisition and total cost of ownership, we believe that AOPA Aircraft Partnership Program will help more pilots realize the dream of owning a new or pre-owned aircraft and will keep more aircraft owners in their aircraft longer,” Fuller said.