We had an excellent Pre-Season Conference with our partners the CAA, the MAA and the Air Pilots. The venue provided great networking opportunities on the first day – even before the conference opened I over-heard one organiser say they had met everyone they had hoped to see and arranged all their business for the 2015 season! Conference highlights included a enthralling and instructional presentation on the Canadian Lancaster 2014 UK Tour that illustrated the power of team working as well as the operational and commercial aspects of their summer achievements and a captivating presentation from the Met Office with concise but complete descriptions of how the science and art of weather forecasting had evolved. All the presentations and workshops at the conference were well received and my thanks to everyone who took the time and effort to prepare and present material.

We know we can improve further. For next year’s Pre-Season Conference we will try a slightly earlier start on the first day and try to fit everything into a two-day Pre-Season event, incorporating the CAA DAE/DA sessions within the workshops on day two. We continue to strive to have those who work together on the UK circuit to train together while also catering specifically for potential and practicing display pilots, FCC members, FDDs and organisers with specific workshop streams. A shorter, concentrated event should help to get everyone together and minimise delegate costs in terms of time and money.

This year’s Post-Season Symposium will also be over two days, with the first day focussed on a review of lessons learnt by civil and military pilots, FCC members, FDDs and organisers and the second day covering training.

For both events, I apologise that those outside the south of England will still have some way to travel but Shrivenham offers the best solution in terms of cost, facilities and support so we expect to use it for the next two events:

Post Season Symposium 3 – 4 November 2015

Pre-Season Conference 10-11 February 2016

The really good news is that entry to both events will again be free for BADA members (all Individual Members and one representative from each Corporate Member) who are paid up for the 2015-2016 period. We will have web-site event management running in time for November that will allow us to ensure that paid-up members are able to register for free while others will be required to pay. Not only will this help us to balance our finances but also, hopefully with some sponsorship support, we will be able to repeat the ‘Fork Supper’ networking event at both the Post-and Pre-Season events. We are also investigating opportunities to arrange discount booking at a hotel in the Shrivenham area that would be able to accommodate all civilian delegates as well as those from the military that cannot be accommodated at Shrivenham.

Time to renew your membership:

Our membership period runs from 1st April – 31st March each year and subscriptions are due for payment before the end of this April. If you renewed late in the last membership period, such as just before the Pre-Season Conference, this might seem like very soon for us to make a second call on your funds but I can assure you that you are not being asked to pay any more than those who last paid membership fees in April 2014! (We did consider and suggested at the AGM changing the subscription period to run from 1 Jan but there was little enthusiasm for that at the meeting.)

Renewal is now entirely on-line through the website at http://www.bada-uk.com . The process is quite simple and we have provided guidance. This is the first step toward automating some of our processes; this will allow us to spend less time managing the Association and more doing things for the membership. If you pay by Standing Order your membership status will catch up shortly but for future years you will have to cancel your Standing Order and renew on-line.

The website now tracks membership status automatically and will direct you to the renewal section unless you have already done so; once paid-up the website will operate as normal. In mid April, two weeks later than usual to allow for the new process, any un-renewed memberships will lapse. This removes details from the website so you will no longer receive invitations (or free admission) to our events, or regular newsletters or other communications.

Although it is some time to the next BADA event, we need you to renew now so we can size our budgets and activities for the next 12 months. This year it is also important that we report our usually healthy membership numbers as part of our response to the DfT/CAA consultation on the Air Navigation Order, to counter the continuing appetite to make major and unhelpful changes to Air Display regulation in UK (see below).

In summary, if you have not already renewed your membership, please do so soonest. If you have any difficulty with the website, please contact  admin@bada.uk.com. If necessary, we will be able to put you through to our webmaster.