AOPA enhances benefits for drone pilots

Discounts on equipment from Multicopter Warehouse, discounted admission to Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas, and an opportunity for free tickets to that show worth $900 are among the new benefits available to drone pilots who join AOPA as the world’s largest aviation organization steps up its unmanned aircraft offerings.

AOPA has expanded the membership benefits for drone pilots. AOPA file photo.

AOPA has been advocating for pilots and protecting our freedom to fly since 1939, and began working on the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System long before officially welcoming drone pilots as members in February 2017. Thousands who have signed up to receive drone content share the goal of safe, responsible use of unmanned aircraft and have joined our ranks. AOPA has developed a range of services including educational materials, advocacy, and product discounts to enhance the flying experience of general aviation pilots who fly drones for fun, for profit, or for both. In our view, all pilots—manned and unmanned—are welcome in the GA community.

“Our common purpose is to make the most of this new technology while maintaining aviation’s exemplary safety record, and safeguarding the freedoms that all pilots enjoy,” said AOPA Senior Director of UAS Programs Kat Swain, a certificated flight instructor and FAA-certificated remote pilot. “Working together, we can help newcomers to aviation become a part of our GA family.”

AOPA has staff attorneys with expertise in unmanned aircraft issues to support and expand the benefits of our popular Pilot Protection Services program, including membership in AOPA's Legal Services Plan that can be an invaluable asset if FAA enforcement action related to UAS operation threatens a pilot’s certificate (Part 107, Part 61, or both). The Legals Services Plan is a part of AOPA's Pilot Protection Services. The AOPA Pilot Information Center is available to all members (regardless of membership level), and is staffed by experts who can answer any question that might come up about flying a drone (or any other kind of aircraft).

Swain and AOPA staff are working hard to enhance what AOPA offers specifically to drone pilots, including education and training, discounts on products and services, and much more. AOPA Drone Pilot, a free biweekly email newsletter launched in 2017, delivers a mix of AOPA news and features, along with a curated collection of the most important drone-related news from around the web, as well as training and safety educational products developed by AOPA and others. That is a benefit enjoyed by tens of thousands of pilots, industry leaders, and other stakeholders, and also among the benefits of AOPA Drone membership.

AOPA members enjoy access to discounted training products and resources from DARTdrones, King Schools, and Aviation Supplies and Academics. Multicopter Warehouse has now joined the list of vendors offering discounts to AOPA members, specifically a 10-percent discount on purchases and free shipping within the United States on all orders over $100. Members can find details on that offering here (member login required). This same page also includes details on obtaining a 15-percent discount on admission to Commercial UAV Expo 2018 at Westgate Resort in Las Vegas, Oct. 1 through 3.

New members who join as an AOPA Drone member between April 30 and June 1 will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win one of five general admission tickets to the Commercial UAV Expo, a $900 value. (No purchase is necessary to enter or win. See official rules here.)

AOPA staff also continue to advocate for all pilots on regulatory and related matters, and develop new media content including podcasts, videos, and feature stories that inform and educate.

“We are working hard to continue expanding the benefits of AOPA membership for drone pilots,” Swain said. “There’s much more in the works, so stay tuned.”

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Managing Editor-Digital Media
Digital Media Managing Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: AOPA, AOPA Products and Services, Membership

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