Doc Hartranft and Victor Kayne founded the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) in February 1962 to represent general aviation interests at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Since its establishment, IAOPA has become a global organization advocating for general aviation interests worldwide.
One of IAOPA’s primary accomplishments has been advocating for the recognition of general aviation as a critical component of global transportation systems. IAOPA has been instrumental in raising awareness of general aviation's economic and social benefits, such as job creation, improved connectivity, and emergency response.
IAOPA has also played a pivotal role in shaping international regulations governing general aviation. By working closely with ICAO and other international organizations, IAOPA has been able to ensure that the needs of general aviation are taken into account when developing policies and regulations. In addition, IAOPA has been actively involved in promoting safety within the general aviation community.
IAOPA has been a vital advocate for the general aviation community since 1962, and its efforts have helped to ensure that the freedom to fly is preserved for future generations.
The governing authority of IAOPA is the Executive Board, consisting of the chief executives of all affiliate organizations. Regular meetings of the Board are held at least every two years in conjunction with the associations World Assembly. Regional meetings are held periodically, normally semi-annually.
The President and five Regional Vice Presidents are elected for four-year terms. The Senior Vice President is appointed by the President from the ranks of the Regional Vice Presidents. All serve without remuneration from IAOPA. An appointed Secretary General, ICAO Representative and Administrator constitute the Secretariat of the organization. The secretariat is located in Frederick, Maryland, USA and regional offices are located with their associated vice presidents
The association provides representation at all major ICAO meetings of interest to general aviation and to a number of the their regional meetings, working groups and panels wherein general aviation is involved. Experts on general aviation operations are drawn from the IAOPA affiliates to provide representation at ICAO meetings and at many other conferences of international bodies. The representatives for each meeting are drawn, so far as is practicable, from IAOPA affiliates in the area of the meeting. These are supplemented by staff of the IAOPA secretariat and as necessary.
IAOPA positions on contemporary matters under consideration by ICAO and other groups are formed through dissemination of agenda items and working papers to affiliates. The resulting comments and recommendations are consolidated by the secretariat to form policy. A monthly newsletter is sent to all affiliates and more than 150 other interested organizations and aviation leaders around the world.
Each IAOPA affiliate pays annual dues according to its total membership to support the secretariat operations of the organization.
IAOPA works closely with international association in the formation of policies and presentation of positions to ICAO and other world aviation standards setting and regulator bodies. These include the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations, International Air Transport Association, International Federation of Air Line Pilot Associations, Airports Council International, Civil Air Navigation Services Organization, International Business Aviation Council and Federation Aeronautique International.