EAA Aviation Center, Oshkosh, WI - July 29, 2009
The presidents of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) cemented a cooperative agreement that was first unveiled earlier this year by signing a memorandum of understanding in the middle of AeroShell Square during EAA's 2009 AirVenture Oshkosh. Under the agreement, both organizations pledged to support each other's efforts to promote, protect, and expand the general aviation community.
"EAA welcomes AOPA's support of our outreach efforts to expand the pilot population, especially through our Young Eagles program," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "And we are looking forward to supporting AOPA efforts to polish GA's public perception with its General Aviation Serves America campaign."
"It just makes sense for two of the largest aviation associations in the world to collaborate where our interests align," added AOPA President and CEO Craig L. Fuller. "The general aviation community faces significant challenges and opportunities in the years ahead and our associations' individual strengths, when combined, put us in a much better position to deal with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities."
Under the memorandum of understanding, AOPA will encourage its members to support EAA's Young Eagles program, providing first flight opportunities for youth and planting seeds for long-term growth of the pilot population. EAA will use its grass roots network to support AOPA's General Aviation Serves America campaign, which seeks to address the root cause of many of GA's challenges - a poor or non-existent public perception of general aviation.
The two organizations agree to work collaboratively on regulatory and legislative agendas helping to protect the future of general aviation, and on safety initiatives that promote safer pilots.
Poberezny will join Fuller and AOPA as a one of general aviation leaders who will open the AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., on November 5, 2009. In addition, EAA will play a role in several forums and events at the Summit.
The leadership of both organizations plan to host a general aviation round table discussion with other industry stakeholders in the first quarter of 2010. The agenda will be based on the shared theme of this relationship - to "Protect and Grow General Aviation."
EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world's most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA's members and local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. EAA also annually hosts EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration." For more information on EAA and its programs, go to www.eaa.org.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest aviation association, representing two out of every three pilots in the United States, and providing representation, education and information to protect and foster the future of GA. More information is available at AOPA's website at www.aopa.org.
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The Eagle Flights program will focus on one-to-one flight experiences and pathways that help adults toward discovering more about flying and eventual pilot certification.
EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny announced his retirement following a decades-long career with EAA.
He will assume the title of chairman emeritus Aug. 1, when his retirement is effective.