Officials at GA’s two largest association recently met to discuss ways the groups could work together to promote GA and protect the freedom to fly. Rod Hightower, president and CEO of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and members of EAA’s leadership team spent two days this week at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) headquarters in Frederick, Md., meeting with AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller and his leadership team. It was Hightower’s first visit to AOPA.
During the meetings, the leadership teams shared broad overviews of what each association and their members are doing to support GA, and talked about how the two groups might collaborate in those efforts and future activities.
“EAA’s grassroots chapter system gives us great access at the community level, and AOPA’s members have shown their willingness time and again to stand up and support GA,” Hightower said. “Our two organizations work diligently to defend our members’ interests, but is there any better ‘sales pitch’ for GA than a pilot sharing his love of flight?”
“Here at AOPA, our theme for 2011 is ‘Rally GA,’ so it’s important that we look for ways the two largest general aviation organizations can work together on behalf of GA,” Fuller added. “We’ve spent the last two days looking at our individual programs and initiatives to see where they align and how we can make them work better for our members and all pilots.”
The meeting is part of the two associations’ ongoing collaboration to support a combined membership of more than half a million, and promote and protect general aviation. AOPA has more than 400,000 members while EAA has 160,000 members and 1,000 local chapters.