Sept. 26, 2014
Contact: Steve Hedges
FREDERICK, Md. – Leaders of the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations’ (IAOPA) 73 worldwide affiliates – representing more than 400,000 general aviation aircraft owners and pilots – convened in Beijing earlier this month for their 27th biennial World Assembly to discuss challenges confronting the world’s general aviation community.
“We are here to ensure that the voice of general aviation is heard in each of our 73 home countries, in vital international forums, and around the world,” IAOPA President Mark Baker told the delegates. “The challenges facing general aviation today are both local and global in nature, including the rising cost of flying, a looming pilot shortage, access to airspace and protecting our airports. As we address each of these challenges, we must remember that one size does not fit all.”
The assembly also served to highlight China’s burgeoning general aviation community, while sharing experiences and guidance with Chinese officials on how to accelerate the growth of GA.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Secretary General Raymond Benjamin greeted assembly delegates via video-link, and recognized the importance of IAOPA in representing general aviation on the world stage.
In his address, Benjamin stressed that while there have been many accomplishments in general aviation, many challenges remain. Those include improved pilot training and determining the proportionate level of regulation.
The 27th World Assembly was also held in conjunction with the 2014 AOPA China Low Altitude Summit, which addressed items of importance to general aviation development in China. Those topics included:
• The global trend of general aviation development
• Development of community airports, urbanization of China and around the globe
• Flight training and aviation safety
• Impact of regulation on general aviation
The World Assembly itself produced a series of 15 resolutions to guide IAOPA and its affiliates in the future, including efforts to urge regulators to eliminate charges for touch and go operations and also to explore medical reform efforts similar to those proposed in the United States. A further resolution urged communities, states, regional, and administrative authorities to ensure that communities have access to general aviation aerodromes and promoting the development of general aviation in China.
“We have addressed issues and passed resolutions that will affect the way we fly for years to come,” Baker said during his closing remarks at the World Assembly. “But most important, we have exemplified the spirit of community and collaboration that has served general aviation so well for the past century and will continue to serve us as we address the challenges of the future.”
The full text of all IAOPA World Assembly resolutions may be found at www.iaopa.org
IAOPA is made up of affiliates from 73 countries, and is administered through AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md.
Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., and seven regions across the United States. AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.