The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has released the Pilot Passport, a new feature through its app that lets users search for new places to fly, check in at airports and aviation events, earn points and badges for meeting certain criteria, and share adventures with others through social media and the AOPA Hangar.
“Now you can check in at an airport or event right from your mobile device like you would on social media and earn points and badges for bragging rights and prizes,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing, Jiri Marousek.
Here’s what you need to know to get started:
- Get the app. Download the AOPA App for Android or iOS if you don’t already have it, and if you do, update it to the latest version. Make sure your device’s location services is enabled as well.
- Check in. The airports nearest you will pop up at the top of the app’s home page. You can check in at airports that are within three miles. When you check in, you can add a photo, rate the airport, leave a comment, and even share a post on social media and in the AOPA Hangar.
- Search. Explore airports and exciting places to fly. You can search by city, state, airport name, or airport identifier. Or, you can filter results within a radius of your location, display only airports you haven’t flown to, or show results based on criteria such as events or the type of runway or airspace at an airport. You can view the results on a map and tap to pull up information about each, or select to see the results in a list.
- Think fun, think strategic. Here’s where it can really get fun. If you are just looking for places to fly for fun, filter the list based on what badges you want to earn and figure out a strategy for maximizing what you can earn on each outing.
- Earn points and badges. Earn badges for landing at different types of airports, including grass strips, seaplane bases, heliports, and paved runways; landing at airports in your state; and visiting airports and aviation events across the country. The more points you earn, the higher the levels you will unlock, moving from bronze to silver to gold. You can also track your progress in the My Pilot Passport section of the app.
- Celebrate AOPA’s 80th anniversary. The AOPA 80th is a special badge challenge that runs from April to December this year in honor of our anniversary. You could be dubbed the AOPA 80th Superstar!
Anyone attending the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo can check in and earn the SUN ‘n FUN ’19 badge. Those who fly in can also earn points and make progress toward earning the paved runway and Class D airspace badges for landing at Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL), for example.
“We encourage you to get out there,” Marousek said, “have fun exploring new airports and events with our Pilot Passport!”