The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association event lineup will look a bit different in 2021, but what won’t change is AOPA’s commitment to meeting members where they live and fly.
The year 2020 has been altered in almost every aspect of daily life, and AOPA has felt the sting through the postponement and cancelation of its most popular fly-in events. However, AOPA remains committed to engaging members and will continue to host first-class events that bring aviation enthusiasts together for fun-filled days of excitement, interaction, and learning.
“With the uncertainties surrounding what 2021 will look like, we wanted to develop a special event model for this coming year that will build in tremendous flexibility and scalability,” said Chris Eads, senior director of outreach and events. “We are really excited with the plan our team has created — two different types of events that focus on bringing AOPA pilots together in smaller settings with more intimate gatherings with AOPA leaders and our friends in the aviation industry.”
AOPA will take the coming year off from producing the classic regional fly-ins members and attendees have come to know and love, and two new exciting event models with be held instead:
AOPA Aviator Showcase: two events (one each in the East and West), geared toward pilots and aircraft owners, that will bring together aviators and the products, services, and manufacturers that pilots depend on. These events will feature 40-50 exhibits and around 25-30 exhibit aircraft, and offer seminars related to aircraft ownership, technology demonstrations, and product presentations from exhibitors.
AOPA Pilot Gathering Air Tour: AOPA will offer members the opportunity to interact in-person with the association, mingle and learn from each other, and build on their aviation inspiration through two multi-day, multi-stop tours that visit several cities throughout the United States. These series of intimate gatherings are anticipated to occur in spring 2021 and another later in the fall. Each stop on the Air Tour will feature a Pilot Town Hall, round-table discussions with AOPA leadership, and an Air Safety Institute safety session.
“It will take many months to plan these events, with a lot of moving parts, but we believe that this strategy represents the best possible opportunity to interact with our members, exhibitors and sponsors, and the aviation community,” Eads said. “The strategy allows us to abide by any local health guidelines and have the ability to flex in size depending on conditions at the time the events are held.”
Specifics about timing and locales are still be ironed out, but AOPA is confident that whether you are an aircraft owner, an experienced pilot, rusty pilot, new pilot, student pilot, or simply love flying, AOPA events will have something for everyone.
More details will be available later this year.