Supporting Organisations

The splendid diversity of GA Flying is reflected in the activities of the many organisations, large and small, public and private which direct, promote, represent and take responsibility for its constituent parts. (Private individual supporters are not listed here).

The purposes and work of some of these organisations (all of which have made financial contributions to the GAAC) are described briefly below:(

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association


At 10:35 on December 17, 1903 a dream as old as history was fulfilled when the Wright Brothers realised their ambition to make the worlds first powered flight. In 1999 the dream would be shattered for thousands of pilots, and potential pilots, if AOPA were not fighting to preserve our aerodromes and right to exercise private pilot privileges.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association UK (AOPA UK) is a member of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA). With a total membership of over 400,000 in 50 countries, it is the largest association for pilots in the world.AOPA ensure the view of pilots and aircraft owners are heard in all the appropriate places both locally and Internationally.

AOPA UK represent pilots and aircraft owners in over a dozen UK and European Aviation forums Through its association with IAOPA representation at over further thirty International Aviation Forums.

The aims of AOPA are to:

Control the cost of private flying

Prevent unnecessary restrictions

Improve general aviation facilities

The British Gliding Association


Gliding first became popular in Germany between the Wars. Interest in Britain evolved in the late 1920′s. Launching gliders requires team work; it demands a minimum crew of three. Flying gliders across country demands courage, skill and develops tactical decisiveness on the part of individual pilots. In the USA, gliding forms part of the astronaut training syllabus.

The British Gliding Association (BGA) is affiliated through the Royal Aero Club to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and is a voluntary association. Self financing and regulating, with the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority, its responsibilities include:

Aircraft registration
Certificates of Airworthiness
Aircraft type certification
Pilot qualifications
Qualifications and registration of instructors
Standards of instruction
Registration of pilots’ certificates of achievement

The BGA controls and administers a large organisation so that its growing body of members may safely enjoy the challenge of this sport.








The British Microlight Aircraft Association


Long gone is the microlight of the late 70s and early 80s with its hang glider wing and chainsaw engine; smooth is perhaps the word to describe the machine of today designed to meet noise certification legislation.

Subject to stringent standards laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority for both the aeroplane and its operator in terms of airworthiness and pilot licensing, the modern microlight is no longer the vehicle of the lone adventurer; it has become the relatively inexpensive way by which the family of today may enjoy recreational flying. It is also becoming another source of future airline pilots.

With the ability to operate from any reasonable open space, devoid of built up areas or controlled airspace, there has also come an environmental awareness and sense of responsibility. Organised microlight sites, once secure in the knowledge of planning consent, put into force their own local flying rules over and above the demands of air law – rules made with the specific locality and any people nearby in mind.

The Light Aircraft Association


The Light Aircraft Association (LAA), formerly The Popular Flying Association, operates under the aegis of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which permits carefully supervised construction and/or operation of a particular class of aeroplanes. This enables members to enjoy true sporting and recreational flying at the lowest possible cost. LAA-ers range from “butchers, bakers and candlestick makers” to airline pilots and members of the House of Lords. All share a love of flying for fun and many operate immaculately restored, lovingly maintained classic or vintage aircraft, or construct new designs from plans or kits.

Most LAA aircraft require only a few hundred meters of land to land and take off and can be built for the same price as a family car, are economical to operate and demonstrably quieter than next door’s lawnmower. Many LAA-ers regularly cross the Channel to participate in aircraft rallies throughout Europe, thus promoting friendship and understanding between fellow enthusiasts in many countries of the EC and beyond.

The British Model Flying Association


Our objectives:

The promotion, protection, organisation and encouragement of model aircraft building, flying and development in all its aspects in The United Kingdom, through the medium of clubs and individual members; assistance and guidance to model aircraft clubs or individuals; collaboration between members of the Society; and co-operation on behalf of members of the Society with the Civil Aviation Authority or other government departments and any other bodies and organisations in the United Kingdom and overseas.

To produce, collect and distribute information in connection with model aircraft or the model aircraft movement on such terms as Council shall think fit.

To encourage and support research in model aircraft design theory and construction.

To control and record model aircraft performance within the areas under the jurisdiction of the Royal Aero Club.

To act as promoters of National and International model aircraft meetings, contests and exhibitions; as publishers stationers and booksellers, general traders, dealers agents and manufacturers, both wholesale and retail’ of any articles of any description which may assist the development of model aviation;

To establish and support, financially or otherwise or aid in the establishment and support of any educational scheme or establishment with benefit to the model aircraft movement;

Our motto is: “UNITED WE ACHIEVE”

The Flying Farmers Assocation

The Flying Farmers Association was founded in 1974 when it was noticed how many farm-strip owners existed throughout the country. Today the Association has around 400 members, mostly in the UK and a handful in the Republic of Ireland. The majority have their own aircraft and strips on their farms which makes the FFA one of the largest groups of airfield owners in the world.

To qualify for membership the applicant must be a farmer or closely linked to farming and/or a farm-strip owner. The FFA holds eight or ten meetings every year throughout the UK frequently using members’ own strips. These are not only agricultural meetings but include subjects of General Aviation interest. The annual 14 day European Tour has visited almost every European country and has also visited some North African countries and even Australia.

Farm-strips are sometimes relatively short, narrow and surrounded by hazards which make farm-strip flying a specialist skill. New problems include local building developments, the construction of wind-turbines and the increasing concern over litigation arising out of visiting farm-strip users damaging their aircraft or becoming injured. It is largely for this reason that visits to farm-strips must be strictly PPR for permission to land and a thorough briefing.

Further information about the FFA from the Secretary: Paul Stephens and the FFA web-site

The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA)

19 Church Street, Brill, Aylesbury, Bucks HP18 9ST    Tel: 01844 238020    Web:    Email:

The BBGA was formed as GAMTA in 1975 to bring together the General Aviation industry as a strong voice in the UK. Member companies are involved in most aspects of trading and commercial operating.

This includes the General Aviation aircraft manufacture, sales, brokerage, maintenance and overhaul. Suppliers of aircraft spares, avionic pilot equipment, support services of insurance, financing, and aircraft handling and the operating of air charter business, and Air Taxi and Flying Training aircraft.

A number of overseas manufacturers who have subsidiary companies in the UK are also members.

BBGA exists to protect, promote and support the growth of a well managed and profitable General Aviation industry in a wide spectrum of activities and to provide a better understanding of its importance within the UK.

The Association must also ensure that the Government does not place intolerable restrictions on the operations of light and business aircraft and that the CAA, whilst having a duty to the public, imposes its regulations at a level consistent with proper safety standards but without excessive and costly non-productive legislation or inspection.



The Vintage Aircraft Club

The Vintage Aircraft Club provides a focal point for owners, pilots and enthusiasts of vintage and classic light aircraft by arranging fly-ins and other events for the benefit of members.

The present Vintage Aircraft Club has evolved from the Vintage Aircraft Group, which was originally formed in 1964. The change of name in 1974 reflected the expanding membership and scope of the club. The aim of the Vintage Aircraft Club is to provide a focal body for owners, pilots and enthusiasts of vintage and classic light aircraft by arranging fly ins and other events for the benefit of its members.

British Womens Pilots’ Association (BWPA)

The BWPA is a membership organisation that exists to support women who fly or who are learning to fly, and to encourage participation in aviation by women who have yet to try it. Members are of all ages, experience and backgrounds but share a common passion.

We are a non-profit making association run by volunteers who are enthusiastic and committed to our aim of promoting and supporting women in aviation. Members of the BWPA are involved in all areas of aviation, including commercial flying, recreational flying, instructing, air traffic control and engineering.

Formed in 1955, the BWPA came into being ten years after World War II Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) women pilots had been thanked for their services to their country but told to go back to their kitchens. This was a time when women were allowed to work, but only in jobs deemed appropriate for the fairer sex, and were expected to give up work to look after home and husband upon marriage.

Incorporating Air Navigators

The Honourable Company of Air Pilots

About the Company

The Company was established as a Guild in 1929 in order to ensure that pilots and navigators of the (then) fledgling aviation industry were accepted and regarded as professionals. From the beginning, the Guild was modelled on the lines of the Livery Companies of the City of London, which were originally established to protect the interests and standards of those involved in their respective trades or professions. In 1956, the Guild was formally recognised as a Livery Company. In 2014, it was granted a Royal Charter in the name of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.

What We Do

Today, the principal activities of the Company are centred on sponsoring and encouraging action and activities designed to ensure that aircraft are piloted and navigated safely by individuals who are highly competent, self-reliant, dependable and respected. The Company fosters the sound education and training of air pilots from the initial training of the young pilot to the specialist training of the more mature. Through charitable activities, education and training, technical committee work, aircrew aptitude testing, scholarships and sponsorship, advice and recognition of the achievements of fellow aviators world-wide, the Company keeps itself at the forefront of the aviation world.

Airfield Operators Group (AOG)

The AOG was formed in 2015 to bring together CAA Airfield Licensees and owners / operators of unlicensed airfields to share experiences and represent their views and interests.  The driver for establishing the Group was consensus that there was no single group looking after our interests.

The AOG now has 55 registered members from across the country.  Through regular meetings and a ‘Forum’ for discussion, combining expert advice from suppliers, positive interaction with NATS and sharing valuable information across the group has been to the commercial benefit of the members.

Historically, a significant number of UK airfields have operated in isolation without the benefit of direct contact or any meaningful conduit for sharing experiences and some policies have changed without reference to those who actually have the day-to-day operational responsibilities. The formation of the Group has facilitated representation on the GAA, NATMAC, APPG-GA and GAAC.

ARPAS-UK is the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. It is a not for profit trade association and professional body which supports and acts on behalf of the remotely piloted aircraft (RPAS) community, from start-up businesses to larger established operations. ARPAS-UK members continue to break new ground in markets where RPAS (sometimes referred to as UAVs or drones) are delivering significant benefits. On behalf of its members, ARPAS-UK works closely with industry regulators, in particular CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), as well as UK Government departments to influence and ensure that the regulatory framework for the safe and professional operation of remotely piloted aircraft is fit for purpose and encourages best practice.

The Association also works with other key stakeholders in the development of national and international RPAS strategies and standards, to the benefit of its members.
The Association works in the public interest, and advocates professionalism within its membership through compliance with an agreed Code of Conduct and the holding of appropriate permissions.
The Association takes progressive stances on national issues to embed the RPAS profession in all end-user industries, to enable it to continue to grow in reputation and influence.

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