AirVenture Australia 2019 has suffered a significant financial shortfall, which Recreational Aviation Australia has declined to make up, prompting the event organisers to cancel plans to giveaway a BushCat aircraft and cease staging the event in the future.
Held in Parkes on 20-22 September, the event was plagued by high winds and a duststorm that caused the site to be shutdown, which organiser David Young says significantly impacted ticket sales and restricted income for the event.
The resulting funding deficit prompted Young to go cap-in-hand to Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) to make up the shortfall, which RAAus declined to do.
"To understand what has ... unfolded, it is important to explain the role of AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd," Young said in a statement issued late on Friday.
"AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd is a company trustee of a trust named The OzKosh Trust of which the sole beneficiary is 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.
"AirVenture Australia Pty Ltd is now taking the only steps available to it to resolve this situation. Additional to the cancelation of the BushCat promotional giveaway, the AirVenture Australia event will not be conducted in 2020 or beyond."
Young has directed those holding tickets in the BushCat giveaway to refer to the AirVenture Australia website.
Comment has been sought from RAAus.