The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the recreational aviation organization that began in 1953 as a group of individuals dedicated to grassroots aviation, has surpassed 250,000 members for the first time.
“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,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO/Chairman. “The dedication of EAA’s members, chapters, and staff have made it possible to grow the organization to new levels. I thank every EAA member who has contributed through the years and found value in being a member, as 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 added that EAA continues to grow its offerings to its core of builders, restorers, and pilots, while also meeting the challenges to aviation’s future that range from regulatory matters to increasing the number of young people engaged in aviation. EAA’s chapter network has also received increased support and resources as the home of grassroots aviation in hundreds of communities throughout the nation.
Reaching 250,000 members marks a membership growth of 25 percent in the past five years, including through a pandemic period that found a significant number of people look to flight training and aircraft building as the fulfillment of a personal dream. EAA’s total of individual members and lifetime members have also reached new highs over the past five years.
“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,” Pelton said. “We are eagerly anticipating where that dream takes us in the years to come, whether it’s through EAA chapters and programs, through the innovations of our members, or with partners who bring a combined strength that allow us accomplish more than we could individually.”