AOPA, already the world's largest civil aviation organization, is very close to passing a major milestone—400,000 members.
"That will be an extraordinary achievement, and one that carries tremendous clout when talking to regulators and legislators," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Four hundred thousand is a nice, big, round number and represents two thirds of all certificated pilots in the United States and three out of every four general aviation pilots."
A countdown to 400,000 will be posted on the AOPA Online home page for an up-to-the-minute check of where we are.
"When we go up to Capitol Hill, or visit the FAA or Transportation Security Administration, there is a special ring to '400,000,' said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula. "Speaking with one voice for so many members gains us access and gives extra credence to what we say."
Such a large member base also gives AOPA extra buying power when working with AOPA Certified partners. Knowing that they have such a large potential pool of customers in a single place means vendors are willing to cut better deals.
"When AOPA's founding members launched the association 64 years ago, they probably could not have foreseen such a large organization," said Boyer. "What they did foresee was a vocal advocate for general aviation, keeping GA fun, safe, and affordable. With 400,000 members backing us up, that's definitely what we've become."