Our Chairman Paul Hoey attended this meeting via video conference on 18th May and his report is below.
BMFA Council Meeting – Saturday 18 May, 2020
Due to the current lockdown the BMFA Council for the first time met virtually via Zoom, the on line conferencing facility we are all now familiar with. This was a unique experience which generally worked well but a meeting lasting 4 hours without a break is a bit of a marathon. Not having to drive to Leicester was good and of course the meeting costed less. Andy Symonds has put in a huge amount of work to set up new meeting systems as well as responding to the many enquiries he gets every day. Thanks Andy. Chacksfield House is still staffed on a limited basis so you will receive a response if you need to contact the office.
Coronavirus was on the Agenda but actually only required a brief discussion where the consensus was clearly to follow the BMFA advice which reflects government guidance. Personally I’ve been flying twice since the restrictions were eased, taking all the necessary precautions our club has put in place and was very pleased to be out in the countryside.
You may have noticed that Ian Pallister, our chairman, launched a strategic review in the April BMFA News setting out 7 priorities. I won’t go through all 7 but will highlight just 2.
- The age profile of the membership is, shall we say, mature. Consequently membership is declining and there is evidence that CAA Registration and now coronavirus have had an impact on renewals. The challenge of engaging younger members and attracting some of the 90,000 plus people who have registered with the CAA but are not BMFA members into joining our ranks, is well known. To really make an impact we need to offer, amongst other things, a professional and appropriate educational package linked to the school curriculum and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Technology). If you have a contribution to make please do let me know via email@example.com
- 2022 is the centenary of the Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers (SAME) or what we now know as the BMFA. We have a great story to tell of major contributions to aviation, cutting edge use of technology and social engagement are just a few. It will be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of 100 years but more importantly to showcase model aircraft technology and flying. Now is the time to start thinking big, both locally and nationally.
Then of course there were more mundane but important matters to discuss.
- On the money side the last financial year turned a provisional surplus which is great. For the current year Keith Lomax, Treasurer, projects a balanced budget despite reduced membership due to lower insurance costs and low claims rebate. Whilst we are regrettably restricted in the amount of flying possible this year the Association continues to deliver the full range of services.
- We adopted a Disciplinary Policy relating to members bringing the Association into disrepute. There never has been a policy and hopefully it will never be needed
- The August Nationals are understandably under review
- World and European championships have all been cancelled this year which is also understandable but disappointing for those who have worked hard to achieve a team place.
- Various admin matters but I like you all too much to say any more!
- The AGM will now take place on 21 November, probably at Buckminster and the associated annual prize giving dinner has been cancelled due to the lack of competitions.
Finally, I am always available for a chat and value hearing your thoughts and experience, so do feel free to e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
So until the next time may you be able to fly freely and safely and your families and friends be safe and well.
Area Chairman and Delegate
22nd May 2020