|Type||Not for profit|
|Headquarters||Frederick, Maryland, United States|
Chairman of the Board
|Bill Trimble III (2005)|
Vice Chairman of the Board
|Darrell Crate (February 2014)|
President & CEO
|Mark Baker (September 6, 2013)|
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is a Frederick, Maryland-based American non-profit political organization that advocates for general aviation. AOPA's membership consists mainly of general aviation pilots in the United States. AOPA exists to serve the interests of its members as aircraft owners and pilots and to promote the economy, safety, utility, and popularity of flight in general aviation aircraft.
With 384,915 members in 2012, AOPA is the largest aviation association in the world, although it had decreased in membership from 414,224 in 2010, a loss of 7% in two years. AOPA is affiliated with other similar organizations in other countries through membership in the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA). In 2015, AOPA was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
The organization started at Wings Field in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. On 24 April 1932, The Philadelphia Aviation Country Club was founded at Wings Field. The country club was the location of meetings of members that founded AOPA. AOPA incorporated on May 15, 1939, with C. Towsend Ludington serving as the first president. In 1971 the organization purchased Airport World Magazine, moving its operations to Bethesda, Maryland.
AOPA has several programs.
AOPA sponsors its own Fly-In and open house in Frederick, Maryland. The yearly event started in 1991 with 125 aircraft. By 2001, the attendance grew to 760 aircraft. The event was cancelled for five years after the September 11, 2001 attacks and consequent airspace changes, but resumed in 2006.