Public Statement from AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd, 3:20pm Friday 29th November 2019
Dear AirVenture Australia supporter,
As many of you know, the 2019 AirVenture Australia event held at Parkes, NSW in September was impacted by a significant weather event. A severe dust storm and strong winds impacted the central west of NSW, including Parkes, over the first two days of the event. On the Saturday, as the wind speed exceeded 43 knots, an emergency evacuation of the event site was required. Our team of volunteers managed this difficult situation capably and no injuries or aircraft damage was recorded. However, as a result of the inclement weather and resulting reduced patronage, the event suffered a significant financial shortfall.
To understand what has since unfolded, it is important to explain the role of AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd. AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd is a company trustee of a trust named “The OzKosh trust” of which the sole beneficiary is Recreational Aviation Australia Inc (RAAus). Our small team are mostly volunteers. We give up our time to plan and stage the ‘AirVenture Australia’ event annually, using trust funds.
In early November this year, AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd made a formal request for RAAus to inject capital into the trust, to offset the losses caused by the inclement weather. This would allow AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd to meet its financial commitments, including finalising payment for the promotional giveaway prize, the BushCat aircraft.
We are disappointed to report that following consideration by their management and board, RAAus have declined to fund the trust. We point out there was no legal obligation for RAAus to do so. No reason was given for their decision. However, without the trust having sufficient funds, the BushCat promotional giveaway is unable to proceed.
We understand this news will be of great disappointment to many. For those who may have questions regarding the terms and conditions of their tickets, please refer to our website.
AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd is now taking the only steps available to it to resolve this situation. Additional to the cancellation of the BushCat promotional giveaway, the AirVenture Australia event will not be conducted in 2020 or beyond.
We take this opportunity to sincerely thank Errol and the team from Global Aviation Products (GAP), who supplied the BushCat, for their support of the event. Without their contribution and significant hard work, the youth aviation and STEM program would not have happened. This program was a huge success, with over 25 high school students coming together to assemble the BushCat at Parkes in the week before the AirVenture event. A number of these students have undertaken to pursue a career in aviation as a direct result of their positive experience in the program. GAP have shown tremendous leadership by putting their money where their mouth is to support and promote the aviation industry to our youth. They deserve all of our congratulations for a job well done.
The AirVenture Team wishes to thank the industry for getting behind the event over the last few years. Our small team is proud to have been given the opportunity to support the industry.
We wish you safe skies and soft landings.