About ACA

What is the Air Care Alliance?

The Air Care Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public service organization representing a nationwide network of volunteer pilot groups that deliver impactful and inspiring service through aviation. ACA encourages volunteerism among pilots, helps patients access the free air transportation they need, and ensures that charitable aviation remains a viable resource to those who need it most.

ACA was founded in 1990 as a small group of volunteer pilot organizations wishing to work together in mutual support. For more than three decades, we’ve made great strides for the world of charitable aviation. The work of ACA has protected public benefit flying, promoted the work of volunteer pilots, and has increased access to free air transportation for patients and others in need.

Our Mission

To promote, support, and represent public benefit flying through communication and cooperation among organizations facilitating flights for health, compassion, and community service. 

Our Vision

To maximize charitable aviation through organizations and pilots flying to serve the needs of humanity.

What We Do


The ACA is a one-stop-shop for passengers and pilots alike who seek information about public benefit flying groups. We maintain a comprehensive directory of public benefit flying groups and our automated referral system helps connect those seeking services with the right PBF organization.


ACA promotes public benefit flying nationally through seminars, exhibit booths, and at major aviation events. ACA also works with aviation and general media outlets to promote public benefit flying stories and individual group accomplishments.


ACA supports our members by providing member resources and best practices to help groups better achieve their missions. This includes safety programs, fundraising techniques, development of emergency preparedness programs, intergroup linking, and leading edge administrative techniques.


ACA serves as the “voice of public benefit flying”. We develop our members’ joint consensus and bring it to the attention of large aviation associations, government agencies, our elected officials, and the general public. We represent PBF groups on important regulatory and legislative issues affecting our industry. ACA representatives provide information and testimony to regulatory and governmental agencies, ensuring they understand the capabilities and roles of those flying to help others.

Communication and Cooperation

ACA works to develop consensus among groups regarding appropriate regulations, to work with other aviation associations as well as governmental agencies, to promote charitable aviation, and to encourage the groups to work together in mutual support. Our annual Air Care conference serves as an open forum for frank discussions of issues impacting our groups, as well as fostering collaborative relationships among our members.


Working with the National Aeronautic Association we have created an enduring set of national awards presented annually. In this way we celebrate the accomplishments of public benefit flying volunteers and their groups, thus highlighting this work before Congress, aviation leaders, and the public.


Online Referral System
ACA created and maintains an automated referral system to benefit passengers, pilots and member groups. In 2020 the referral system underwent many improvements to enhance the user experience and increase the quality and quantity of referrals to member organizations.

Safety Resources
In conjunction with the Air Safety Institute, ACA has developed a safety guide and companion video for volunteer pilots, and more recently the only interactive online course geared for volunteer pilots and charitable operations: Public Benefit Flying Online Safety Course

ACA consistently promotes safety and best practices in charitable aviation and continues to curate additional Safety Resources for pilots and groups here.

ACA instituted and administers the ICAO COMPASSION call sign CMF which may be used by all pilots of authorized public benefit flying groups to indicate to air traffic control that they are flying patients or performing a public service mission.

Legislative Successes
      • Prevented attempts to stop charitable deductions for pilots’ expenses.
      • Argued successfully in Washington D.C. against proposed Air Tour regulations that could have crippled pilots’ ability to fly charitable missions.
      • Helped pass a Volunteer Pilot Liability Reform provision in the FAA
        Reauthorization Act of 2018 that allows pilots to contribute their skills and resources for the public good without fear of liability in excess of insurance limits. Note that non-pilot volunteers have long enjoyed the same protection under the
        Volunteer Protection Act of 1997.
      • Provided input on FAA Fuel Reimbursement Exemptions for volunteer pilots which resulted in removal of onerous criteria.