The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) has approved the Island Aircraft Owners Association—AOPA Trinidad and Tobago—as its seventy-first affiliate.
"General aviation plays a vital role in the economic and transportation needs of the Caribbean, and particularly in Trinidad and Tobago," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. "We are pleased that the Island Aircraft Owners Association is committed to building a strong GA community in the island nations with the support of IAOPA and its affiliates worldwide. We warmly welcome them into the AOPA family."
The initial membership of the Island Aircraft Owners Association is made up of 15 aircraft owners and 50 additional pilots and aviation enthusiasts, but is certain to grow as the organization matures. Members are involved in recreational and personal transportation flying, and they take part in monthly fly-ins that are held across the Caribbean in locales such as Barbados, Martinique, Grenada, St. Lucia, and French Guyana. Aircraft range from a Beechcraft Duke to a restored 1947 V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza and a Pitts Special.
The group is also working with the local Civil Aviation Authority to formulate legislation to create light sport and experimental aircraft classifications in Trinidad and Tobago and to develop an airport dedicated to GA.
"The Island Aircraft Owners clearly represent the dedication and belief that general aviation can do great things for their country and the region," said Craig Spence, secretary general of IAOPA. "This is a very dynamic group of owner-operators and a valuable new addition to IAOPA's efforts to keep international general aviation healthy."
IAOPA is a nonprofit federation of autonomous, nongovernmental, national GA organizations. IAOPA has represented international GA for nearly 50 years. The combined total of individuals represented by the constituent member groups of IAOPA is more than 470,000 pilots who fly GA aircraft for business and personal transportation.