EAA Passes Quarter-Million-Member Milestone


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), announced Wednesday (December 1) it has “has surpassed 250,000 members for the first time.” EAA membership has spiked 25 percent over the past five years. The association attributes the growth, in part, to people turning to flight training and aircraft building during the Covid 19 pandemic “as the fulfillment of a personal dream.” EAA reports its total of lifetime members has also swelled to new record totals in the same time period.

Jack Pelton, EAA CEO/Chairman, said, “EAA’s founder Paul Poberezny created a culture nearly 70 years ago where anyone who wished to enjoy the freedom of flight was welcome to participate, and our mission of growing participation in aviation has thrived under that vision. The dedication of EAA’s members, chapters, and staff has made it possible to grow the organization to new levels…EAA began as a small group of builders and restorers but quickly grew into an organization that engages everyone who enjoys the world of flight.”

Pelton characterized EAA’s mission as tapping into ordinary citizens’ vision of learning to fly; and facilitating that dream through support for builders, restorers, and pilots and providing resources through its chapter network “as the home of grassroots aviation in hundreds of communities throughout the nation.”

Pelton concluded: “General aviation has grown increasingly complex over the past 70 years, but EAA’s goal has been to find ways to break down the hurdles in as many places possible to nurture that dream that has been always been a part of human imagination – the desire to fly.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Interesting. This could be the makings of an undercurrent that saves GA. Time will tell. Quite honestly, the current administration is GA’s best and strongest advocate, especially if they impose further restrictions on air travel that you can pretty much bet a whole bunch of money they will. Because, that is what they do. It is their reason for existence.

  2. What’s the RETENTION rate – year on year? You can sign up 50,000 of the masses that attend AirVenture and make the big number look great – but if you don’t retain them – then the non-flying new members are not an audience that can be converted to flying.

    Not being critical of the >250,000 number. But it needs some context.

    Anyone know the total AOPA membership for comparison and the “overlap” membership – that are in both?

  3. Through out the COVID panic EAA has provided me more aviation educational programs than all other aviation organizations combined. The educational programs available are worth the price of a life membership.