The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Latvia has become the fifty-fifth member of IAOPA, the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations. AOPA-Latvia's membership was confirmed on February 13, 2001.
AOPA-Latvia is the latest of four national general aviation organizations to join IAOPA in the past 12 months. In March of last year, AOPA-Czech Republic continued IAOPA's expansion in eastern Europe. In June, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to have an AOPA in the international organization.
Last September at the IAOPA World Assembly in Edinburgh, Scotland, the IAOPA Board of Directors welcomed the AOPA of Thailand, "The Thai Flying Club," as the organization's fifty-fourth member.
"This is an exciting time for general aviation on the world stage," said IAOPA President Phil Boyer. "With 55 member organizations on five continents and two subcontinents, IAOPA now literally girdles the globe. Our cultures differ widely, but we are united in our love and respect for general aviation and aerial work. From this union IAOPA draws strength to promote and defend GA/AW interests in the international arena."
Membership in IAOPA's constituent organizations now totals well over 400,000 general aviation pilots and aircraft owners. The IAOPA headquarters and secretariat are located in Frederick, Maryland, and the European Office is in Allschwil, Switzerland. The organization has a permanent representative to the European Union in Belgium and a representative to the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.
Information about IAOPA can be found on its Web site. IAOPA represents general aviation's interests in international organizations and promotes public understanding of general aviation's vital role in the world transportation system.