AOPA To Raise Member Fees
AOPA will be raising its standard membership rates to $59 per year, president Mark Baker told AVweb on Thursday, but the organization also will offer more choices for members, including a lower-cost option. "If you choose to get AOPA's magazine in digital form only, instead of in the mail, the annual dues are just $49," Baker said. It's only the second time in 24 years that AOPA has raised its rates, he said. "We've cut our operating budget to the lowest it's been since 2006, and reduced staff," Baker said. "Now we're looking for additional revenue. We believe the value we provide to members is high."
Baker said AOPA's advocacy efforts have been successful in convincing customs and border protection agents to ease up on private pilots, and in stopping new taxes on airplanes and fuel at the state and local levels. Baker said the organization also is making progress on lobbying for change to the third-class medical. "We have 12 senators and 112 members of Congress supporting this change, so far," he said. "We hope to hear something more soon, before Oshkosh." The new membership rates will take effect Sept. 1. Options will include a "premier membership" for $99 that includes increased access to AOPA services and discounts, "premier plus" for $179, and life-membership options costing up to $1,999. AOPA last raised its rates in 2010, when a standard membership rose to $45 from $39.