If there were ever a time to even consider trying to unite these two huge advocates of General Aviation, this would seem to be that time. The biggest question remains, are the interests of the members too divergent to ever let this happen? We should at least think about a merger of the EAA and AOPA.
(This is from Greg's March Publishers letter, to read his full letter click here)

Please let us know your thoughts below.

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Comment by Big Oil on March 16, 2013 at 6:24am
Ten years ago I would have said No, but today in the world of the 99%er' we should dis-ban all aviation groups, form only one group that would be able to wine & dine all the Washington DC lazy a!s law maker that are too afraid to make a decision and worry only about their money in the bank for re-election. Face it, its all about the money and not ruffing the status quo. It's not the small group that can change the rules, it takes $money$, bribes, and kick-backs to get your way in this new political world...the US is not a first rate country anymore, the law makers lack moral fortitude heck they can't even let you tour the "People's House" anymore due to a lack of money, but you can have a dinner at the White House for just a bit of pocket change $325,000. You go to a third world country visit all of the government buildings for no cost and it just takes a bribe to get your way! So, in closing there are over 500+ aviation groups in this country ranging from the small club that meets at the local airport or coffee shop to the mega-groups such as EAA, AOPA and major air carriers associations. It all start with General Aviation, and one group with the money will win.
Comment by Larry Meadows on March 13, 2013 at 4:31pm

Negative. To not rehash the points made by the members that are against the merger, I agree with each responce on the NO side of this discussion. I look toward the AOPA for my regular flying and the EAA for my building and sport flying. I think It make a member of a combined group become just a number.

Larry Meadows

EAA Member since 2005

AOPA Member since 1981

Comment by James R Kent on March 13, 2013 at 2:54pm

I think EAA &  AOPA ahould join forces.......

Comment by Alfred Don McInturff on March 7, 2013 at 2:51pm

'I am a member of both, but they are really concerned about two different aspects of General Aviation. Having said that however I believe there is strength in numbers and the two organiztions should form ageneral oversite committee to handle common concerns and answer them with a united voice if possible1 Dr Alfred D McInturff AOPA#00702474 EAA 536843'.

Comment by James P Pratt on March 6, 2013 at 9:04pm

I belong to EAA but not AOPA.  To me AOPA represents the corporate/commercial and wealthier types and EAA represents the kitbuilt, antique, warbirds, and middle class pilots.  I know that is not totally true but the EAA publications, the EAA comraderie at the grass roots level (regular meetings and other activities), and the EAA AirVenture are more to my liking.  Merging them might be like painting aviation with too broad of a stroke of the brush.

Comment by Richard Tavan on March 6, 2013 at 7:27pm
This would be a bad time for a merger. All it would say is that organized GA is in trouble and can't attract enough leadership to support two major advocacy groups. Both groups should find capable leadership, finely tuned to their distinct, albeit overlapping missions. It would be great if those two new leaders then pursued closer relations between their organizations. There are matters in which two separate voices are best, others where only one of the two needs to speak and others where they would best speak with one voice. Let the new leadership figure out the distinctions.
Comment by Bill Davidson on March 6, 2013 at 5:22pm

Not merge - But they should link arms & work together.

I have been a mamber of both for 30 years.  For the first 25 of those, you would never know the other organization existed if you just read one or the other organization's magazines.

With change in leadership in both organizations they seem to be trying to work together - GREAT IDEA!  EAA has slipped a little too much to the commercial side.  AOPA should cover the new release of a biz jet, EAA should cover a new kit or LSA, and they should BOTH worry about 100LL.

As Greg mentioned, if they merge and "go left" there is no one left (other than Aircraft Owner........)  I think things are about right as they are.  Both organizations are looking for new leaders.  If they work together this could be a WIN-WIN situation.  EAA focuses on things that might flap their wings, warbirds, kits, new designs, the Rutan legacy, etc.  AOPA is a great home for those of us who primarily fly for business.  They are BOTH a great home for people who fly for business AND love Saturday morning, 1500' of grass, and an cub or RV-x.

Comment by Jim Swickard on March 6, 2013 at 4:55pm
No way Jose! I enjoy both magazines way too much to give up either one. Keep the magazines and Aviation Owner coming my way 'South of the Border'.
Comment by Don Peterson on March 6, 2013 at 3:13pm
This idea reveals a lack of understanding how groups work, and how political power is wielded.

Having two groups with complementary but differing agendas means more influence can be brought to bear on GA's behalf.

There is an overlap of members. Even the most casual understanding of business and the good and bad of mergers tells us that combining will result in less dollars coming in from membership dues. Members of both organizations will not have only one payment, and even if that payment is increased, it won't make up for the reduced total membership. Worse, there will be some that see the merger as a dilution of their special interest and will quit altogether.

Special interest groups pursue their special interests. If combined, it would just be an aviation group, and the vigor of representation would be greatly diminished. I could easily imagine a merger being seen in future years as the moment in time when we lost our power with the FAA, and experimental aircraft started their road to extinction.

What idiot came up with this idea, and what bigger idiot thought it was worth floating around for comment?

Go invent a perpetual motion machine.
Comment by Robert Waring on March 6, 2013 at 2:48pm

No way!!!  I belong to both organizations, and each has its purpose.  I feel that at the moment, both organizations are a little challenged regarding their roles and direction... but merging the two would be a huge mistake.   Both organizations have discovered big money... and that big money focus is making it difficult for them to relate to their original constituencies... merging the two organizations would only make the big money focus worse.


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