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The Gov't, CAA, BMFA & UAV legislation thread

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Andy Symons - BMFA29/10/2020 15:18:56
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I hope everyone has taken the time to complete the Survey, it closes at Midnight Saturday, a way to put your opinions across direct to the BMFA and of course the more responses the better.

**LINK**

MattyB29/10/2020 17:29:18
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Posted by john stones 1 on 28/10/2020 18:02:33:

I'm curious Matty, In what way does it fall short of the vision we we're given ?

I wrote a reply to this earlier, but then got logged out before I pressed send. In summary:

  • No real current reason for non-members to visit (no museum, cafe etc), thus limiting additional revenues needed to support the centre.
  • No major fund raising push for the Phase 2 facilities; this is pretty surprising given we are in year 4.
  • Only basic camping facilities (though I understand this is next on the list; probably linked to point above)
  • Does not seem to have realised any of the promised benefits in terms of additional credibility when negotiating with the authorities (I never understood why that was stated in the first place; renting a site and renovating doesn’t seem very influential when compared to the authorities who seem desperate to open up the airspace below 1k feet for commercial use)
  • Limited impact on the downward trend in membership (as per the original proposals this was a cornerstone). Of course there have been educational events held, but these could have still happened without the NFC and across a much wider area if a very small proportion of the £400k+ invested was diverted in that direction.
Stuart C29/10/2020 18:20:04
142 forum posts
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Its all been done before at Eton Bray. That did not end too well. Hopefully, this will be a different story. See onthewire.co.uk/bray3.htm

MattyB29/10/2020 20:34:21
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Posted by Steve J on 28/10/2020 18:06:37:

Posted by Barrie Lever on 28/10/2020 17:58:10:

Posted by MattyB on 28/10/2020 17:11:04:

However, with less income being generated than it costs to run and the capex unrecoverable it can't be considered a financial asset to the Association or it's members.

Only time will tell if the NFC will be a success, I hope that it will, as I see no harm to the hobby in having this asset and it is an asset.

The problem that I have with the NFC is that the BMFA are paying £30k/year to rent an ex-equestrian centre. If they were paying that (or even slightly more than that) on a mortgage I would be supportive, but they aren't and there isn't a fix for the decision to rent rather than buy.

TBF the BMFA looked at that for the first site (Laws Lawn), and though they got permission to go ahead at the EGM it failed the gating requirements and they did not proceed. The cost of that would have been dramatically more though - If seem to remember phase 1 was in the £3m range,with the full cost rumoured at £5-6m based on the presentations giveN at clubs that received them prior to the EGM.

Thank goodness that occurred - it could have financially killed the BMFA, though tbh I always thought it unlikely they would actually be able to secure a mortgage for the amounts they were talking about. Given that site was deemed unsuitable and almost certainly out of budget their only option for an NFC was to rent; I still think investing that same £400k in a series of clubs that owned their own sites amen could have acted as regional centreS would have been far more effective though.

MattyB29/10/2020 20:43:48
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Anyway, I will shut up about the NFC now, it’s OT in this thread and what’s done is done. What really matters at this point is what concessions the BMFA and other national associations can secure from the CAA against the revised CAP 1789. I am crossing all my fingers and toes that good news will be forthcoming...

john stones 129/10/2020 20:54:13
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Posted by MattyB on 29/10/2020 20:43:48:

Anyway, I will shut up about the NFC now, it’s OT in this thread and what’s done is done. What really matters at this point is what concessions the BMFA and other national associations can secure from the CAA against the revised CAP 1789. I am crossing all my fingers and toes that good news will be forthcoming...

yes

Erfolg30/10/2020 10:27:15
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Why are is a specific exemption a the CAA regs, being issued , then extended on a temporary basis?

Will the process go on indefinitely, if so for what purpose?

I cannot but notice, that from time to time, I read in the news that further trial operations are taking place using commercial drones, carrying significant payloads. Do these activities indicate that a significant increase in commercial operations could happen in the very near future? If so what could this mean to us model operators?

Steve J30/10/2020 10:57:21
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Posted by Erfolg on 30/10/2020 10:27:15:

I cannot but notice, that from time to time, I read in the news that further trial operations are taking place using commercial drones, carrying significant payloads. Do these activities indicate that a significant increase in commercial operations could happen in the very near future?

Yes. The problem for the commercial operators at the moment is that BVLOS operations require a temporary danger area. This will change in the next few years.

If so what could this mean to us model operators?

IMO, some combination of registered sites, flight notification and electronic IDs.

Erfolg01/11/2020 15:42:31
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Steve, non of the aspects you indicate, reassures me that our hobby will be attractive to those who are at present non model fliers. If any of the suggestions comes to pass, for some present members and modellers. it could be the straw that "breaks the Camels back". We certainly do not want to see even a small decline in model fliers. Just because we think the hobby is great. Both the Retail trade and BMFA need numbers to be viable to operate as we do at present.

It is easy for me to to be blase with respect to the present immediate future, as i am old.

For the BMFA as we know it, it is" die in a ditch scenario", if it is to have any long term future. That is beyond the region of five or so years. I suspect that many of the additional requirements that I might tolerate, will be game stoppers for many. I am thinking of those who always fancied a go at model flying, or even those who once flew and now have time on their hands. The BMFA needs to continue the fight, probably with as much vigor as possible.

Covid restrictions will not have helped. In that it is hard to many positives to flying. There may have been a mini building boom, of models, although it is possibly over stated. There will have been a significant financial loss to the model retail trade, rather than a boost. With respect to the NFC, the hit however described will have been significant. The big question will be, does the BMFA total membership pay for any financial short fall? IMO nothing should be done that falls on the general membership.

john stones 101/11/2020 15:59:24
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The more I read the less I know/understand.

BMFA could have some extra from me if required, see no reason to punish them for things beyond their control,

Pretty much what our Country is going through at present is it not ? Many paying a price to protect others.

Will I be in a position to help BMFA, who knows, mind how you go folks.

Steve J01/11/2020 17:22:21
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Posted by Erfolg on 01/11/2020 15:42:31:

Steve, non of the aspects you indicate, reassures me that our hobby will be attractive to those who are at present non model fliers. If any of the suggestions comes to pass, for some present members and modellers. it could be the straw that "breaks the Camels back".

France is running a year or so ahead of the UK in this area. They have registered sites with electronic IDs required to fly elsewhere (and at a few registered sites). It will be interesting to see what happens to FFAM membership.

Erfolg01/11/2020 22:29:37
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John, it is not about punishment, it is about survival. If we just look at the BMFA, I expect some aspects are now running at a loss, in areas which are not core. BMFA general membership is for me a core area, the NFC is not, there could well be more similar areas for all I know.

I am continuously reading in the news about businesses which are shedding divisions and non essential activities. Cash calls are being made, loans taken out, calls to government for grants, all to survive, as a small enterty of what they were just six or so months ago.

With our age demographic, which has unfortunate impact on membership and the less than equivalent new participants in out hobby, repeated increases in membership charges, may not be a viable way forward.

I am now sensing that Covid will be effecting at least two years into the future. On that basis any decisions will be a judgement call on what is sensible.

What is important is that the BMFA focuses on any changes on how the hobby of flying models is regulated, to minimise the impact on what we do. To remain viable as the BMFA, the hobby cannot really afford any significant or even small numbers who fly models. Any changes in regulation may even have an adverse affect on Insurance terms and premiums.

I do not want to appear to be pessimistic, more, I want us to ensure that the hobby and modelling retails remains viable. There is a lot to play for. I want to look back and say it all was a storm in a tea cup, nothing has changed.

john stones 102/11/2020 14:12:39
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It's about punishment, me, me, me, it's about constantly pouring scorn on people.

Your hobby needs support, you already downed tools and came in with doom n gloom..

Peter Jenkins02/11/2020 23:48:36
1708 forum posts
314 photos
Posted by Erfolg on 01/11/2020 22:29:37:

BMFA general membership is for me a core area, the NFC is not, there could well be more similar areas for all I know.

I do not want to appear to be pessimistic, more, I want us to ensure that the hobby and modelling retails remains viable. There is a lot to play for. I want to look back and say it all was a storm in a tea cup, nothing has changed.

Erfolg, the BMFA News could be looked at as a considerable saving. Apparently, according to comments made on this forum, a good many throw the BMFA News in the bin without reading it. So, it could go on line and save a lot of money in printing and distribution costs. I would have thought that you might have picked up on that but no it's the NFC. Have you ever visited it? Have you seen the number of groups who make use of it and not all attendees are locals.

It is your opinion that the NFC is non core. Council, who took the decision, didn't think so. Can you imagine the row that funding a selected number of Clubs around the country to improve their flying sites instead of one BMFA facility open to all? Those who suggested that were mistaken.

The core business of the BMFA has to be to represent the sport to ensure that we get our views taken note of whenever legislation is proposed that impinges on our activities. I would say that the BMFA has done this with knobs on over the Drone issue. Having the NFC allows the BMFA to invite key people there to show them what model flying is about and why it is so important to the a significant number of voters. We are, after all, the largest single segment of the Air Sports grouping.

I do hope we'll be spared yet another long treatise on what the BMFA should or should not be doing.

Erfolg03/11/2020 11:36:12
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Peter, I do not think or suggest that the BMFA is not doing its best with respect to the initial registration requirements, nor what is presently under discussion. I will remind people that we are already a long way from the position that nothing is going to change with respect to the then regulations. I was concerned by the statement, in that it seemed complacent. Although the the events at Heathrow had not occurred at that point.

IMO the threats to the viability of the hobby are still here, and could be a game changer, for the worse. I sincerely hope that nothing is imposed, and todays concerns are forgotten.

With respect to the NFC, I understood that there would not be any cross funding from the BMFA . That the accounts would be kept separate etc. We are where we are, from my perspective I would not want to see, that BMFA membership fees increasing to pay for any temporary or long term issues arising from the NFC, without the membership being aware of the situation and that any funding that was to happen, was not voted on by the membership, not area delegates or other similar method. I am more interested in the financial and continued viability of the BMFA, than the NFC. Perhaps my worries about these present times are unfounded.

I also am concerned that any who not yes men (people) are seen as loose cannons or anti something or other, rather than seeking to ensure that our organisation is serving its members interest. Members and their clubs are very important to me.

Lima Hotel Foxtrot03/11/2020 14:49:23
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408 forum posts

At the risk of moving away from that cherished, and oft repeated, NFC food fight... I renewed my operator thingy today via the CAA website. Easy, painless, quick. And if it contributes to the argument that we are a law abiding lot who register then so much the better.

I do wonder how many people will not bother re-registering due to not seeing any immediate material change to their flying activities? And if any resulting revenue difference will result in a higher fee next year?

MattyB03/11/2020 22:45:41
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Posted by Peter Jenkins on 02/11/2020 23:48

...Having the NFC allows the BMFA to invite key people there to show them what model flying is about and why it is so important to the a significant number of voters. We are, after all, the largest single segment of the Air Sports grouping.

Has that actually happened though? I would have thought if it had would have been some publicity associated with the visit via the BMFA News and website. Personally I highly doubt the CAA would conduct such a visit given a) the long-standing working relationship they have with the BMFA, and b) the fact it is highly unlikely to teach them anything they don’t already know.

MattyB03/11/2020 22:48:32
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Posted by Lima Hotel Foxtrot on 03/11/2020 14:49:23:

I do wonder how many people will not bother re-registering due to not seeing any immediate material change to their flying activities? And if any resulting revenue difference will result in a higher fee next year?

I agree, especially given the upcoming lockdown which will prevent most of not all flying. Certainly if my Op ID was up at this point I would be waiting to see what the operational authorisation From the BMFA included before renewing in the new year when things are hopefully clearer.

Peter Jenkins03/11/2020 23:45:56
1708 forum posts
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I will do what I did last year and pay my additional £9 when I pay my Club Subs in Dec/Jan.

cymaz04/11/2020 05:56:16
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Posted by Peter Jenkins on 03/11/2020 23:45:56:

I will do what I did last year and pay my additional £9 when I pay my Club Subs in Dec/Jan.

I will do the same. My club has approved , by the committee, if you pay your club subs by 16 January the club will pay the CAA fee for you. We have some money spare in the bank which is doing nothing. After 16 January the member pays.

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