Opinion: A Call to Action for Sport & Recreational Aviation

Opinion: A Call to Action for Sport & Recreational Aviation

Opinion: A Call to Action for Sport & Recreational Aviation

April 8, 2020 By Brian Bigg
AOPA SPORT Australia Digital Editor BRIAN BIGG provides a call to action to the sport and recreational aviation industry.
Very few of us can fly at the moment but that doesn’t mean the threats against us have also stopped. Just because your local airport is quiet, doesn’t mean your...

Very few of us can fly at the moment but that doesn’t mean the threats against us have also stopped.

Just because your local airport is quiet, doesn’t mean your local council has stopped thinking about raising your fees or cutting back your activities to please the real estate agents who control its day to day business.

Most of us don’t have much of an income any more, but those evil destroyers of aviation livelihoods usually find a way to keep their highly paid positions and you can be sure they continue their evil plans while we aren’t looking.

So even though the federal government doesn’t, for some inexplicable reason, to consider aviation a vital part of Australia’s infrastructure, it falls to all of us who fly, either frequently or infrequently, to continue to stand and fight for it.

That’s why your AOPA membership is worth renewing.

For the cost of a tank of petrol you can keep your skin in the game for a year. For the cost of a tank of petrol you can keep your passionate opinions in the face of the politicians. For the cost of a tank of petrol you get to help AOPA keep anonymous council officials and airport management company profit seekers from just grabbing our nation’s vital assets and running off with them.

How much is your freedom to fly worth to you? Would you be happy to pay $1,000 a month to store your aircraft, because the monopolies which control our airports deem that’s what they need to charge to ensure the CEO gets a bonus this year? Just ask the suckers trying to run a business or store their aircraft at Bankstown.

Would you be happy to pay $40 each time you landed? Those costs keep creeping up. And although it seems steep to us, that’s the price pilots pay in some places in Europe where private organisations control the airfields. Do you really think our lot haven’t done those sums?

And hands up how many of us are totally convinced CASA always has the best interests of General Aviation in the forefront of its decision-making processes? Any hands? Yes, you up the back.

So, the threats never slow down, never stop, even though the rest of us have been forced to slow down and stop.

That’s why when your membership renewal comes through on your email you should put it on the pile of bills you will pay, rather than on the pile you know you won’t have to during corona times.

That tank of petrol you pay, will keep AOPA in the octagon for you and competitive for another 12 months.

And maybe even keep your flying free and affordable for a few years further.

Brian Bigg

Brian Bigg is one of Australia’s most experienced aviation journalists. He was the founding editor of Australian Pilot magazine for AOPA, the premier communication medium for general aviation in Australia. Several years later, he became the publisher and founding editor of Sport Pilot magazine, the largest circulation aviation magazine in Australia, with a monthly readership of 14,000. Brian trained in a Piper Tomahawk and flew Archers and Trinidads. Then he shifted to ultralights. He owns and flies an Atec Zephyr which is based at Camden in NSW. Brian remains one of the most passionate advocates for recreational flying in Australia.

Topic: Community

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