The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) recently held its biennial World Assembly in Stellenbosch, South Africa, to discuss current and emerging challenges confronting the world’s general aviation community. Attendees included leaders of IAOPA’s 70 worldwide affiliates, comprising 450,000 general aviation aircraft owners and pilots.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Secretary General Raymond Benjamin greeted the delegates via video stating that, “I want to assure all of you that I fully appreciate the significant contribution of general aviation to the overall advancement of civil aviation around the world… IAOPA has made its voice heard in the Air Navigation Commission and at conferences and the ICAO Assemblies, with positive results.”
IAOPA President Craig Fuller then reminded the delegates, “The work we do here has the potential to set the course for general aviation around the world; our efforts will have a lasting impact,” he said. “The decisions we make and the challenges we address here affect not only us and our IAOPA members, they affect the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who are employed thanks to general aviation.”
Five main areas of GA activities were discussed during the five-day meeting: airspace allocation and use, making regulations work for GA, controlling and justifying fees and charges, promoting and protecting airports, and working together for common purposes.
A series of resolutions were generated from discussions by the assembly which will serve to guide IAOPA and its affiliates for the years to come. Significant among the 22 resolutions were initiatives to develop a universal airports use policy document; create methods for optimizing the flight training experience to help grow the pilot population; develop standards to minimize hazards associated with remotely piloted aircraft systems; continue measures to ensure adequate airspace is available for GA operations; ensure that pilot licenses are accepted among all states; and reduce mandated aircraft equipment costs.
Fuller noted, “The enthusiasm and insights demonstrated by our delegates has yielded a very productive assembly. I am proud of the work we have accomplished and will ensure the measures developed here are actively pursued. The world of general aviation will benefit from the work accomplished here in Stellenbosch.”