A few years after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was established, AOPA leaders in Australia, Canada, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United States realized that general aviation interests were not given enough attention in ICAO. Those five AOPAs founded IAOPA in 1962, “to facilitate the movement of general aviation aircraft internationally.”
In 1964, IAOPA was accepted as the sole general aviation observer to ICAO proceedings, a distinction the organization maintains to this day.
In addition to regular participation at ICAO headquarters and regional meetings, IAOPA represents the interests of general aviation before the European Union, Eurocontrol, European Civil Aviation Conference, and Joint Aviation Authorities.
- To facilitate the movement of general aviation aircraft internationally, for peaceful purposes, in order to develop friendship and understanding among the peoples of the world and to increase the utility, of the general aviation airplanes as a means of personal and business transportation;
- To coordinate with other international and national organizations to promote better understanding of general aviation's requirements and further the interests of the membership;
- To integrate the views and requirements of member organizations with regard to international standards, recommended practices, procedures. facilities and services for international general aviation, providing forums as appropriate for meetings of representatives of the member groups;
- To advance the interests of general aviation internationally and to represent the membership on matters of interest to general aviation at pertinent meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization, WMO, ITU, EEC, etc.;
- To encourage the implementation of planned systems, facilities, services and procedures in order to promote flight safety, efficiency and utility in the use of general aviation aircraft;
- To encourage representatives of national general aviation member groups to meet with and work with their national authorities in the interest of promoting better understanding, enlightened regulation and adequate facilities for general aviation;
- To encourage the collection from ICAO Contracting States and dissemination by ICAO of information, data and statistics relating to general aviation to provide a meaningful base for development of technical programs.