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PrecisionHawk partnership benefits AOPA members PrecisionHawk partnership benefits AOPA members

AOPA’s drone-flying members will have a leg up on the competition and new discounts to look forward to thanks to a new partnership with PrecisionHawk.

AOPA file photo.

The partnership was announced July 27 at EAA AirVenture, the world’s largest aviation show, and matches the world’s largest aviation membership organization (AOPA) with the largest network of commercial drone pilots,, a division of North Carolina-based PrecisionHawk.

AOPA Senior Director of UAS Programs Kat Swain worked out the details with PrecisionHawk on a deal that gives AOPA members who are certificated remote pilots registered with a few exclusive perks and discounts, including discounts on AOPA membership and renewals, and a discount on commissions charged for drone jobs arranged through

“It’s another one of the value adds that we’re bringing to the membership,” Swain said. “We listened to what our membership was telling us, and one of the big concerns was networking and resources to help find work flying under Part 107.”

Thousands of new members have joined AOPA since the association began welcoming drone pilots in 2017. The FAA announced in July that more than 100,000 remote pilot certificates have been issued since Part 107 took effect in August 2016, and that list includes many pilots (and AOPA members) certificated under Part 61 as well as Part 107. Under the new PrecisionHawk partnership, AOPA will offer a one-time $25 discount on Drone Pilot Plus membership to any pilot registered with PrecisionHawk via This is AOPA’s top-tier drone membership option, normally $168 per year, and includes Pilot Protection Plus, which covers legal representation costs for matters pertaining to a remote pilot certificate.

Participants in Friday's all-day weather workshop during AOPA's 2017 Norman Fly-In watch a demonstration of a drone operated by the University of Oklahoma's Advanced Radar Research Center. The workshop was held at the National Weather Center. Photo by Mike Collins.

“AOPA is a true pioneer in aviation advocacy and has cultivated a vibrant and diverse community of aviation enthusiasts that directly complements PrecisionHawk’s work with drone pilots,” said Irina Denisenko, vice president of the PrecisionHawk Drone Pilot Network, in a news release. “This partnership further demonstrates the value of industry collaboration to ensure that drone operators have access to quality job opportunities and are equipped with the tools and support they need to build their portfolio and grow their business while flying safely and efficiently.”

Renewing AOPA members who participate in the PrecisionHawk network will be eligible for a one-time $20 discount on the annual renewal of a Drone Pilot Plus membership. All AOPA drone members who are also among the 15,000 pilots will enjoy preferred access to enterprise jobs (which are offered directly to selected and qualified members, and not posted with the rest of the job listings), along with a discount on the standard commission charged to pilots by—that rate will drop to 7 percent, compared to the standard 10 percent charged to non-AOPA remote pilots.

“That puts a few more dollars in our members’ pockets,” Swain said. “If you fly often, it can really add up.”

Swain said AOPA Drone Pilot Plus members will also be recognized with a special AOPA Pilot Protection badge on their profile. All of these changes will become evident to members of the respective organizations in the weeks to come. Swain said AOPA and PrecisionHawk are now working on the infrastructure and logistics that will facilitate the discounts and incentives through the respective websites, and members can expect email notification as the discounts and other perks become available.

AOPA Drone Pilot Plus memberships come with this nifty free hat, among many benefits. AOPA file photo.

The PrecisionHawk partnership was announced during the AOPA Drone Social at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which drew more than 100 attendees (despite a rather interesting F-22 Raptor demonstration underway at the same time). PrecisionHawk sponsored the event, which has become one of AOPA’s staple offerings at the world’s largest airshow.

AOPA continues to work on expanding opportunities and advantages for pilots of all kinds, including those who fly unmanned aircraft. The association has introduced a number of safety training and education resources for remote pilots, and remains committed to supporting safe integration of unmanned aircraft through various initiatives including membership on the FAA Drone Advisory Committee. AOPA members are also eligible for discounts on training, equipment, and drone-related events.

Swain said the PrecisionHawk partnership is exclusive, meaning that no other aviation organization (manned or otherwise) will be able to offer similar incentives to members of PrecisionHawk’s pilot network. AOPA, in turn, will offer membership discounts exclusively to PrecisionHawk’s pilots.

More than 100 people enjoyed free food, drink, and drone talk at the AOPA Drone Social sponsored by PrecisionHawk at EAA AirVenture on July 27. Photo courtesy of PrecisionHawk.
Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web 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 Products and Services, Membership, Pilot Protection Services

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