The International Council of the Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) has approved Jordan as its seventy-second affiliate, making it the seventh IAOPA Middle Eastern affiliate, joining Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt.
“From an IAOPA and global general aviation perspective, we are excited to see GA take root in the Middle East and for governments there to recognize its economic importance,” said IAOPA Secretary General Craig Spence. “IAOPA affiliates will stand by to assist AOPA-Jordan as they develop the necessary infrastructure and regulatory framework to foster the growth of general aviation.”
AOPA-Jordan began as the Royal Aero Club, founded by Jordan’s current king, Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, with the aim of offering others a view of Jordan from the air. That club later became Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan (RASCJ), a non-profit organization established with Royal support in 1997. In 2001 it moved to King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba. Jordan’s other flying club, Royal Jordanian Gliding Club, is based at Amman Marka International Airport.
There are currently three flight training academies in Jordan, with about 150 students completing training annually. The majority of flight students are from neighboring countries and return home to become pilots for national airlines.
“Currently, GA flying in Jordan is pretty limited,” said RASCJ Chief Pilot Ammar Yousef. “Our goal is to continue to work with the Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission and other entities to try to ease the restrictions and make the airspace more open, while collaborating with pilots from other countries to promote GA within the Middle East and North Africa region.”
IAOPA has represented international general aviation for more than 50 years. The combined total of individuals represented by the constituent member groups of IAOPA is over 470,000 pilots who fly general aviation aircraft for business and personal transportation.