IAOPA General Statements

Monday 19 June | Tuesday 20 June | Wednesday 21 June

Obtaining and Retaining Members | Obtaining and Keeping Members | Obtaining and Keeping Pilots and Members | Aviation Safety; Doing More with Less | Resolutions | Proposals for Next World Assembly | Assembly Summary

Obtaining and Keeping Pilots and Members

Obtaining and Retaining Members
Ruedi Gerber, President AOPA Switzerland

We must have new pilots as well as new members

Success Sells! Make it visible to all.

Swiss Facts and Figures:

Population: 7.5 million people
Airports: 47, 3 major, 5 regional, 30 concrete/grass and mountain strips
Surface: 44,000 km sq—1/3 of Switzerland surface is solid rock!
Airplanes: ~ 2,000
AVGAS: 2$/1 or 8$/US Gal.

What does success mean to our members? Prevent them from:

  • Increasing costs of flying
  • New and/or higher taxes and fees.
  • More restrictions.
  • Higher standards.
  • Less freedom.

Let them profit from (must have small profit)

  • Our negotiations with Authorities (Airports and airspace access)
  • Special insurance rates.
  • Discounts for traveling.
  • Unique events, (Fly ins & out).
  • Safety seminars.


  • Show the public, government and administration who you and your members are.
  • Show your members what you do and reach out for them.
  • Approach to the public and the administration:
    • Alpnach military airfield
    • 45 aircraft; 100 members at Alpnach in June 2006 for Annual Meeting.

What is AOPA expected to do:

  • Guarantee VFR flights in TMA of Zurich.
  • Guarantee transit flights E—W.
  • Maintain safe lower limits.
  • Save the existence of FBOs and training facilities within the TMA.
  • TMA—Sector 1
  • CTR—1

AOPA Switzerland Answer:

  • TURICUM 1-V. Tutorial provided by AOPA Switzerland; must pass this for access to Zurich TMA.
  • Lessons on CD-ROM.
  • CAA approved instructors.
  • Special map for TMA
  • AOPA Switzerland:
    Philippe Hauser
    Mühlegasse 5
    8152 Opficon
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Tel:00 43 211 5040

The Means:

  • Web page with public and restructured member-section.
  • E-mail for newsletter.
  • Sweepstakes: To win a one hour flight in a PL12.
  • Magazine.
  • Press releases for significant events.

The bad news:

  • Tax exemption on AVGAS abolished.
  • Double charges for weather briefings.
  • Business aviation splits away. Have worked together for many years. Success has made them blind.


  • Intensified lobbying needed—motions in Parliament.
  • Continued progress reporting to the pilot community and the public. Informing members of what we are doing
  • Co-operation with the General Aviation Steering Committee (GASCO).We have the 'Chair' for this.
  • Our members adopted an increased annual fee of 120$ that includes legal protection and expect more from us. The additional revenue will enable us to increase our performance on behalf of our members, leading to an increase in membership.

View Ruedi Gerber's full presentation.

Obtaining and Keeping Members
Ivaylo Dermendjiev, Bulgaria

View of Bulgaria:

  • Population of 8 million.
  • 110,000 km sq
  • 5 international airports, well quipped, but do not consider general aviation at all.
  • 10 general aviation airports, two of them very well equipped.
  • Flight Rules: A short description of VFR in Bulgaria
    • Activity with CAA, Ministry of Defense, and all involved in the situation in Bulgaria.
  • I was elected President of AOPA Bulgaria in February 2006
  • Up to now, AOPA Bulgaria was not active, because it suffers lack of owners of aeroplanes.
  • Now the situation is different—we have new planes being registered, particularly the ultralights which are growing in popularity due to the lower operating cost.
  • Current statistics:
    • AOPA members: 35
    • Light airplanes: 52
    • Ultralights: 30
  • Attracting members is difficult
  • All members of the Board work free of charge, even when personal efforts are made to help the organization.
  • We work with the Government and the CAA contacts to get benefits and equal treatment for the members in front of the Authorities.
  • We can use our airspace without restriction, except for a few restricted areas.
  • We have good contacts with the military.
  • We operate jointly with the airlines from some airports, although this led to a near disaster when an airliner on a visual approach at one airport had a close encounter with a GA aircraft, which led to them closing the airport.
  • We have a number of airstrips we can use, hard surface, grass and even on the beach.
  • The other ways to attract new members are to get low price insurance, landing fees and handling taxes for all our members.
  • We keep very good co-operation with Today's Pilot, Bulgarian edition, in our own language, to represent GA properly.
  • In a small organization like ours it is difficult, but we are developing and things are getting better. We need to be more personally involved.
  • I have only given you a short presentation today, and as Julius Caesar perceived in a letter from Mark Anthony: "Caesar, I am writing you a long letter because I do not have time to write you a short one"!

Obtaining and Keeping Pilots and Members
Hadi Azhari, Vice President AOPA Lebanon

We have much the same situation as Bulgaria and the other smaller AOPAs, with small numbers of members.

What General Aviation pilots and aircraft owners need from us:

  • Provide representation with Government and Civil Aviation Authority, which is much the same as in other countries.
  • Provide them with information on new technology, safety measures . . .
  • Gatherings, social events and fly-ins.
  • Discounts and other financial advantages. Our members want to see something in their pockets as well.

Determine how to fulfill these needs in the interest of increasing membership.

  • Establish good relations with LCAA and Government. Personal relationships. Before AOPA was formed in Lebanon in 2003, there was only airline aviation. No-one really knew anything about general aviation and - they still have much to learn.
  • Monthly magazine and e-mail broadcasting. We receive the AOPA UK magazine which is very helpful, as we are too small an organization to produce one ourselves, although we find e-mails a very satisfactory way to communicate and send out information.
  • Organize events to bring pilots together.
  • We currently have 57% of all active GA pilots in membership.

Barriers to membership and methods of overcoming them:

  • Number of active pilots is low.
  • There are 319 PPL holders, but only 88 are currently active.
  • Lower cost of aviation by:
    • Lobbying to decrease taxes on AVGAS 100LL. We have to convince the Authorities that by lowering taxes, more people would be able to afford to fly. It is very expensive to fly in our country. We pay $2.4 per liter for AVGAS.
    • Convince operators to use new cheaper technology.

What keeps members in the Association:

  • Members are called in person to remind them by e-mail to renew. We also go out and speak personally to people at airports.
  • Participation in AOPA events is restricted to members. So if they want to join in our activities, they have to join the Association. The more interesting the event, the more will come in!

What techniques have worked in your AOPA?

  • Direct contact.
  • Personal relations.
  • Increasing the material handed out with membership backed up by regular e-mailings.
  • We feel that far greater discounts at hotels, etc., could be achieved if we all got together with a signed contract. Any body with thousands of members will be far more likely to succeed than one with less than 50 members!

View Hadi Azhari's full presentation.


John Sheehan: It is fascinating to see the many different ways countries are working, each with their unique ideas as to how to obtain and keep their members.

Efrat Yaron, Israel: The emphasis must be on joining together. We are too small and can only envy USA and Canada with their large membership numbers. We have to get together, not just for discounts but also for insurance. In Israel this is a big problem when we fly to Europe. We should have a policy that is put together for all AOPA members worldwide. We also need one policy to get fees lowered.

John Sheehan: We have had this discussion regarding insurance in Europe before, and in fact we do have two experienced Insurance brokers in our membership, one of whom is here with us today—Klaus Zeh from Germany. You might talk with Klaus, to see if he can help you with your insurance problems.

Ruedi Gerber, Switzerland: AOPA Switzerland has been very successful with discounts. I'm afraid everyone wants to profit most. Go to the internet, look at the AOPA Switzerland Web site and book online, we can offer our members the cheapest rooms world-wide. Phil Boyer booked a room in Sweden on this site.

Peter Schmidleitner, Austria: One of the greatest assets to our members would be the availability of a flight planning system. New members could really use such a system.

John Sheehan: Germany has such a service, we could perhaps discuss it at the next Regional Meeting in Warsaw in September.

Yiouli Kalafati, Greece: We have many discounts in Greece. There is information on the EU website, where you will see the procedure. We need to know where to put the information. All European AOPA members would benefit from Jeppesen.

Geronimo Amura, Philippines: We have problems with people having passports denied. Also, there are considerable problems getting visas to travel to certain countries, such as the USA.

John Sheehan: This subject is outside IAOPA it is just 'States flexing their muscles'.

Kevin Psutka, Canada: Once you know the date of the next conference, you need to start work straight away on applying for your visa. Don't leave it to the last minute.

John Sheehan: thanked the panel for their presentations and added that he wished to recognize two people here who were regular attendees at World Assemblies and great supporters of AOPA and IAOPA: Geoffrey and Suzie Boot from AOPA UK. Geoffrey is a long serving member of the AOPA UK Board and always attends all the business sessions at the World Assemblies. John also recognized Michael Baum from UK who was also a great supporter of AOPA.

Aviation Safety

Doing More with Less
Bruce Landsberg, Executive Director AOPA Air Safety Foundation, AOPA USA

ASF is Making GA Safer—55 years and counting

ASF's Mission:

  • Variety of events:
    • Online courses - pilot education needs to be interesting
    • Publications
    • Educational Aids
    • Live seminars

Aircraft improvements: Technology gets better:

  • Enclosed cockpits?
  • Efficient aerofoils.
  • Nose wheels?
  • Stronger airframes.

What's changed:

  • Airports improved.
  • Airplanes improved.

Aerodrome Safety/Utility

  • Runways.
  • Lighting.
  • Obstruction Standards.
  • Zoning.
  • Fees??? Can drive us away from some airfields.

What's Changed:

  • Radios improved.
  • Airports improved.
  • Airplanes improved.
  • Pilots improved?

Air to ground electronically:

  • Top of the line: 1946 "Your flying radio telephone"!!
  • Navigation improvements: Visual displays.

ASF: The Safety Connection:

  • Free on-line courses: ASF adds six courses per year, all FAA approved for the FAA's Wings Program. Mountain Flying: To battle the lack of understanding of 'density altitude'. WeatherWise: Thunderstorms and much more.
  • Free safety seminars: GPS for VFR; Runway Safety—traditional ASF outreach; 230 seminars (30,000 pilots) this year alone.
  • Accident analysis: GA accident data base.
  • CFI renewals: 11,000 renewals a year, largest number conducted in the world, can also be conducted on-line.
  • Hot Topics: Safety Hot Spot, GA in the hot seat.
  • Sporty's Safety Quiz: Nobody sees your results but you; pilot challenges.
  • ASF library: Real Pilot Stories audio; in my own words. This is a new approach, a quick safety lesson, about pilots' accidents in their own words.


  • Latest research, advice, changes
  • Special reports
  • Flash cards
  • Challenge yourself 1 - 3.
  • New resources: High tech:
    • FL 410 and climbing
    • Advancing with the times
    • Reaching out
    • Keeping up with technology
    • Glass cockpits
  • Maximizing interactivity

You are what you learn . . . and what you forget.

View Bruce Landsberg full presentation.


Carlo Golda, Italy: We used to get many documents from Sporty's in paper format, but they are no longer available. Are these available on your Web site, and can we obtain them without a fee? Also, do you have a list of all the documentation that is available on the Web site?

Bruce Landsberg, USA: I understand in your first question you are referring to the Safety Publications for a variety of aircraft. There was tactical error when these were produced—we do not have them in electronic format, only paper copy which can be scanned and printed out. We can do this and make them available, but will need to find the most effective way. Our staff of just 15 people at ASF at Frederick are stretched at the moment, so don't commit me to a time scale. The question: where can you get all the ASF information and the best way of distributing it? The Web site is probably the best location as everything we are doing now is available electronically, in the Publications and Library sections. There is going to be a major overhaul of the AOPA Web site, and hopefully you will be able to see this shortly. We have a search engine, so you should be able to find what you need. If you wish to distribute the material, please contact ASF first—we are very free in sharing its copyright. However, if you do distribute it , do not charge for it, that is not why we do this.

John Sheehan: Lots of material is available on the Web site and on paper, what do you consider to be the most appropriate material for international use? Appropriate for other countries, some only for the U.S.?

Bruce Landsberg, USA: Decision making; take-offs and landings; maneuvering flight and physical handling exercises are suitable for all countries. Also mountain flying is suitable in many countries. If you are flying VFR in the vicinity of thunderstorms, stay VFR; if flying IFR check what services are available and if you do not have weather avoidance equipment, stay VFR .

Ram Pattisapu, India: In India we are prohibited from importing aircraft that are more than 20 years for commercial use. We may only import them for personal use. This makes it very expensive.

Bruce Landsberg, USA: There are no statistics to say that older aircraft are less safe than new ones. Maintenance related accidents are coming down. However, there is some concern regarding aging pilots. The number of older pilots involved in accidents is disproportional, and we are looking at that at the moment, with courses for older pilots.

Gabriele Mair, Germany: Do you have people to look after pilots who have been involved in accidents?

Bruce Landsberg, USA: I have recently talked to two pilots who had minor accidents. You need to help them to get over the experience, and learn from their 'get over it' experience. We can all make mistakes, and I am always happy to talk with people who have had accidents.

John Sheehan: You need a post accident plan, think about having a plan. Never never talk to the Authorities before you have had time to consider all the details and taken advice if necessary.

Yiouli Kalafati, Greece: Are you involved in the communicating ability of pilots/ATC?

Bruce Landsberg, USA: We are doing courses in communication that are open to all pilots, not just AOPA members. Go to the ASF Web site and you can use it. AOPA has a Policy regarding safety communications, and we also have a policy regarding aging aircraft.

Yiouli Kalafati, Greece: Are you doing courses for people who do not have English as their mother tongue?

John Sheehan: ICAO Language Proficiency: From 2008 you must be able to demonstrate either English or the language of the State you are flying over.

Bruce Landsberg, USA: Many people in the U.S. cannot speak good English. Courses are available to teach people how to communicate effectively with ATC, and not to be intimidated by ATC.

Yiouli Kalafati, Greece: Can you give an opinion on the mandatory overhauls on Lycoming/ Continental engines, can we 'call up' the ASF for advice?

Bruce Landsberg, USA: Go through John Sheehan, e-mail John or Frank Hofmann for ICAO questions.

Peggy van Ootmarsum, Netherlands: When a person has had an accident the pilot is taken up for a flight with an instructor just as soon as possible.

Malcolm Chan-a-Sue, Guyana: We have two check lists for flying single pilot, where the pilot has to do it all with no back-up. I have brought them with me. One concerns take-off and landing and the other CFIT. People are forgetting the basics, and a script is a useful tool.

Bruce Landsberg, USA: Good point—we have documentation for both IFR, where the pilot is protected by the system and VFR, including terrain avoidance plan safety briefs. These are available for any pilot.

Geronimo Amurao, Philippines: We are continuously receiving the AOPA Pilot magazine which gives a schedule of seminars in the U.S. I would like to suggest that instead of just receiving schedules of seminars around the U.S. you have a column that is regularly updated, with more pages about the ASF in the magazine.

John Sheehan: Bruce has a column (we subscribe to it) which is updated with information about the ASF.

Bruce Landsberg, USA: We are doing 'outreach' making case studies on accidents. We can talk about this.

Geronimo Amurao, Philippines: We have an ASF in The Philippines, and are interested in this material.

John Sheehan: I will put this in the safety column in the IAOPA Bulletin which you all receive.


John Yodice, IAOPA Legal Counsel: The Resolutions have been distributed to you all. We have a limited amount of time, but ample time, I think, to consider all of the Resolutions with a short discussion and perhaps debate, and then a vote on adoption or rejection. We are going to follow a procedure that we have used historically and I think that will help us conserve time. The delegates have expressed an interest in having the Resolutions read, as well as projected on the screen, and after that we will ask the proponent of the Resolution to take time to speak to the Resolution, allowing the speaker at least one, and at most, two minutes to say a few words about the Resolution, then any comments we may want to consider. Once the comments are concluded we will proceed to a vote.

John Yodice thanked the delegates for their spirited discussion on the Resolutions and he also thanked the Resolutions Committee for all their work and, in particular, Ruth Moser, who had stayed up very late the previous night in order to have the Resolutions ready for the Assembly.

Proposals for the next World Assembly

Secretary General John Sheehan informed the Assembly that two bids had been received for the 24th World Assembly in 2008:

AOPA Lebanon
Efrat Yaron presented a promotional DVD from the Ministry of Tourism showing the suitability and assets Lebanon had for an IAOPA World Assembly. The Idea of putting forward the bid is to draw attention to GA in his country and he felt confident that they could do a good job.

AOPA Malta
Malta apologized for being unable to be present, but provided a DVD which had been prepared by them, showing the suitability and facilities that were available in Malta.

There was no vote and no decision taken on the venue for the next Assembly. IAOPA Headquarters will evaluate and consider the suitability of both the above, and of two further offers that were still to come. There will be a decision taken towards the end of the year.

John Sheehan thanked both the above AOPAs for their bids and presentations. He also thanked all the presenters and speakers during the Assembly and concluded by saying that the presentations will be on the IAOPA website within one week after the Assembly.

Assembly Summary
Phil Boyer, President IAOPA and AOPA USA

Phil Boyer said that during the past 3 days the Assembly has covered extensive, in-depth important aviation information from all around the world. A preview of what AOPAs are "in for"; which inevitably comes over from Europe. The presentations were the 'best ever'. We had lots of new faces and we were able to share in their work.

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