The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association UK, the trading name of British Light Aviation Centre Limited, is part of AOPA, the world’s largest, most influential aviation membership association, which has achieved its prominent position through effective advocacy, technical competence and hard work. AOPA provides member services that range from representation at World, European, National and local levels to advice and other assistance. AOPA has built a service organisation that far exceeds any other in the aviation community.

AOPA UK is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to serve the interests of its members as aircraft owners and pilots, promoting the economy, safety, utility, and popularity of flight in general aviation aircraft. We cater for all pilots and owners of any kind of general aviation aircraft, including fixed-wing singles and twin piston and turbine, airships, sea planes, helicopters, microlights, gliders, and balloons. AOPA works for all aircraft owners and pilots, campaigning for better regulation within the UK and Europe rather than just specialist needs of particular sections of aviation. We complement the work of representative organisations dealing with particular interests, such as gliding, homebuilts, vintage, warbirds, microlights, instrument rated pilots, business flying, instruction and the plethora of other methods of getting into the air.

AOPA UK provides the vital voice that speaks for the interests of UK pilots, for issues including and not limited to airspace access, aerodrome access, threats of aerodrome closure, pilot licensing, over regulation, and flying costs. It speaks not only to the UK authorities but to Europe and the rest of the world through IAOPA's seat at ICAO, the United Nations body that oversees civil aviation throughout the globe.

We provide advice and support to our members in all areas of General Aviation (GA), including when they are threatened with prosecution for alleged violations of aviation legislation.

AOPA UK provides incentives for further flight training and pilot development beyond ordinary licence standards, by means of the Wings Award Scheme, Mentoring Scheme, and other courses such as the Aerobatics, Radio Navigation and Flying Companion certificates, as well as Seminars for instructors. 

We publish most of the work we have been doing through our GA Magazine


iaopalogocolor AOPA UK is affiliated to the International Council of Aircraft Owners & Pilots Associations (IAOPA).

The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) is a nonprofit federation of 66 autonomous, nongovernmental, national general aviation organizations. IAOPA has represented international general aviation for more than 35 years.

The combined total of individuals represented by these constituent member groups of IAOPA is over 370,000 pilots, who fly general aviation aircraft for business and personal transportation. General aviation is defined by ICAO as "All civil aviation operations other than scheduled air services and non-scheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire."

The AOPAs are organised into regions – IAOPA-Europe has 24 nations in membership and represents the interests of general aviation at the European Commission and Parliament, EASA, Eurocontrol and other pan-European regulatory bodies. Each national AOPA works separately with its own regulators and government organisations.

AOPA-US is by far the largest, with over 400,000 members whose subscriptions and lobbying power make AOPA a major player in Washington. Despite being almost 100 times smaller, AOPA-UK punches far above its weight with regulators in Britain, in Brussels and in Cologne.

Our Chief Executive, Martin Robinson, is currently the Regional Vice President of Europe for IAOPA.

AOPA UK Representation

AOPA UK is one of a number of bodies that represent aviation in the UK. Until recently they only had to deal with the CAA, the UK's National Aviation Authority (NAA). Representative bodies in other countries in turn dealt only with their own NAA's. The formation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the move to common standards and regulation across Europe has changed that situation dramatically. It is now essential to be represented at the European level. For AOPA UK that was relatively simple, as part of IAOPA we already had an international focus and the interests of AOPA UK and all of the other European AOPA's are represented through IAOPA Europe.

AOPA Policies and Positions

AOPA UK's policies and positions are in-line with those adopted by IAOPA and IAOPA Europe.

IAOPA's policy and position statements can be found on this page.

IAOPA Europe's positions can be found here.

AOPA and the General Aviation Alliance

Other UK Representative Organisations did not have an international dimension. They are  therefore members of the Royal Aero Club (RAeC), which is represented at the European level by Europe Air Sports (EAS). The major associations within RAeC also form part of the General Aviation Alliance (GAA), mainly focused on UK issues. The fact that AOPA UK is not part of RAeC, GAA or EAS does not indicate any difference of opinion, AOPA has its own representation in Europe and does not need to be part of RAeC GAA or EAS to be heard. It could even be seen as unfair to others if AOPA was represented through two separate channels. In summary AOPA UK's representation is a three-step process: AOPA UK > IAOPA Europe > EASA while for other UK representative bodies it is a four-step process: Representative Body > RAeC > EAS > EASA.


National Representation


European Representation

Specialist Associations
National Aero Clubs
Europe Air Sports
European Commission
National AOPAs
IAOPA Europe

AOPA UK Structure

AOPA UK is a trading name of The British Light Aviation Centre Ltd, a not-for-profit UK company without a share capital and hence no shareholders receiving dividends. The company registration number is 00874355 and its Registered Office is at 50A Cambridge Street,, London, SW1V 4QQ. Like any other British company it has a Board of Directors.

Our Directors have traditionally been people with enough of an interest to give their time to the corporate governance of AOPA as well as fulfilling the requirements of the UK Companies Acts.

AOPA also has an Executive Committee which is composed of some of our Directors as well as other AOPA members - deciding issues of strategy, resourcing and monitoring progress.

The Executive Committee meets the Instructor Committee, Members Working Group and Maintenance Working Group on a regular basis. 

There are a small number of permanent staff who work at the office, with occasional support provided by specialist consultants/advisors to cover the widespread subjects where AOPA is involved. AOPA holds various gatherings, e.g. CAA-approved Instructor Seminars, to deal with matters of concern to specific sections of the membership.

AOPA's Annual General Meeting is held around September each year and details are published in the August edition of GA Magazine.

AOPA Isle of Man

The Isle of Man operates a properly constituted regional  organisation, chaired by Geoffrey Boot. Anyone who joins AOPA UK and lives on the Isle of Man automatically become a member of AOPA IOM.  

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