Welcoming drone pilots into the general aviation community, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association announced a new line of memberships for pilots of unmanned aircraft.
“Drone pilots are seeking their place in the larger world of aviation and looking for opportunities to expand their experience,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “This is an ideal time to embrace these pilots and welcome them into the GA family.”
Since 1939, AOPA has advocated for the general aviation community, offering services and education tools to support pilots and promote safety. Baker says that remote pilots, many of whom are new to aviation, have reached out to AOPA in need of the same resources the association has provided for manned pilots.
“As newcomers to the skies, they have told us they are looking for a trusted source to help them get the most out of their flying, protect their license and their assets, and keep them up to date on regulations and issues affecting their kind of flying,” Baker said.
In order to deliver educational resources to remote pilots, AOPA has partnered with DARTdrones to offer a free online drone course to its members. Members who are interested in earning a remote pilot certificate will also benefit from discounted Part 107 test preparation. In addition, the association announced that while many of its free educational courses, quizzes and videos apply to manned and unmanned aircraft operations, new drone-specific content is in the works. Remote pilots who join AOPA also will have the option to purchase insurance for recreational and commercial drone operations, and enhanced memberships that offer legal counsel and representation are available.
“Dividing manned from unmanned aviators would rob both of many benefits, and create unnecessary conflict,” Baker said. “We believe we are stronger as a united community, and welcome these new pilots with hope that our common goals of safety and freedom to fly will be achieved together.”
The price for an AOPA Drone Pilot Membership for one year is $69, the same as for other pilots.