President Report March
Since my last report we have been on a rollercoaster of highs and lows that one could hardly believe possible.
The Tyabb Airshow
I say this was our best yet, with a record crowd made up of people from all walks of life from locals to internationals.
I cannot tell you how proud I am of our team who managed to pull all of this together in only 7 months, and that was after we had cancelled everything and missed the application close off date for the ADF participation.
With the help of many people in the background, working day and night, we pulled off the impossible and we gave everyone what they have come to expect from our Airshows.
I can’t mention everyone, but I do have to point out that if it wasn’t for Ray and Shirley Taylor we would not have had the 2020 Airshow and cannot thank them enough. When I went and spoke with Ray (after he had just cancelled all of our Airshow bookings) and informed him that we had finally come to a new agreement with the Shire over permits, and that we had to run it on the 8th March, he didn’t flinch (well maybe a little) and said “thank you, let’s do it”.
Of course the reason we do this is to be a Force for Good in the community and to give back to local charities on the Peninsula. This year our main beneficiary is Chasing Change, a very deserving organisation, which is a suicide prevention support group that helps people across the Peninsula. We are working our way through the numbers and hope to announce the donations for each of the organisations we support soon.
I also need to thank our sponsors, IOR Petroleum, East Link and Paul Bennet Airshows for sticking with us and making the day possible. Thanks to the pilots, aircraft owners and also all of the wonderful volunteers and exhibitors. And thank you to the community for coming out in their thousands to share our planes and airport on a beautiful autumn day.
Update on Dealings with the Shire
Without warning and without consultation with the 45 or so affected Airport land owners and businesses, on 5th March the Shire applied to the Minister for Planning (Richard Wynne) to change the airport’s current Planning Scheme.
The zoning of “Special Use Airfield” will remain but the conditions within that zone are proposed to be changed. The consequences of the submitted new conditions would immediately cause some businesses to close, while others would make the airport operations unviable and would spell the end of all of our jobs, the flying school and the other businesses across the precinct.
Thank you to all who signed our Parliamentary ePetition, which has now been tabled in Parliament. It is the 3rd largest ePetition ever brought to Parliament, an astonishing result when it only ran for just over two weeks. It was delivered to the Minister and is now in his hands to consider the implications and potential damage the Shire will inflict on local jobs and families.
It’s time to activate our 10s of thousands of supporters and use our weight to kill off this Planning Scheme Amendment proposal. At the next election we need to use our substantial vote to ensure we elect Councillors who support jobs, families and our Airport. We will talk more about this over the coming months.
Again I ask you to remain respectful at all times. We can object, disagree and lobby but we must be courteous at all times.
Vale Peter and Ido
As you will all know, Peter Phillips and Ido Segev lost their lives on the 19th of February while on a routine IFR training flight in a midair collision near Mangalore Airport. A lot has been written in honour of Peter and Ido whom we all held in the highest esteem for their professionalism, their infectious enthusiasm and their humanity as good people and Club members. We will forever miss them and we send our sympathies and love to their families. We also pass on our thoughts and sympathies to the families of the other two pilots lost in the other aircraft. Blue skies and tailwinds .. RIP
It’s hard to believe what has occurred around world in such a short period of time and the impact this is having all around us.
As you know we have had to suspend all social functions as well as close the school flying training operations as it is impossible to practice social distancing in the cockpit of C152.
Private aircraft hire is still available for members, however you must be responsible for cleaning of the cockpit when you return the aircraft. Flt Ops will provide you with the alcohol based cleaning fluids that you must use to kill off the virus. Pilots must also provide all headsets as these cannot be properly cleaned after use.
We are doing all we can to keep the airport open including the Helipad and fuels facilities so that emergency services can still operate.
Lastly please do not go into the reception area, use the phone to sort out any enquiries you may have and the guys on the desk will make all of the arrangements. Please stay away from the Clubhouse as it is important we look after people working there to ensure we can maintain a presence on site.
Please follow the rules, look after yourselves and stay safe.