• RAAus has published its board-approved 2023-25 strategic plan. (RAAus)
    RAAus has published its board-approved 2023-25 strategic plan. (RAAus)

Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) yesterday published a new strategic plan covering the 2023-25 period as approved by the RAAus board last Friday.

The plan outlines seven strategic objectives that RAAus believes will provide substantial benefit to the organisation's members and provide a solid footing for the future. 

"The Strategic Plan is based on the themes of community, leadership, innovation and safety and are enabled by our organisational values," RAAus president Michael Monck states in the plan. "We shall continue to deliver our services to members across Australia while extending our reach to include our wider-community.

"Each theme will combine to build on an already strong foundation and strengthen our organisation for years to come. As a community we have evolved and we recognise the importance of reinventing ourselves while respecting our heritage."

The seven strategic objectives are:

  • retain existing members and grow traditional base
  • increasing membership diversity
  • administer new aviation technology
  • develop educational pathways
  • increase and diversify income sources
  • establish and implement a marketing strategy for the organisation
  • embed enterprise risk management framework across the organisation.

Among the areas of focus within the strategy are several developments that highlight a culture of expansion within RAAus, including:

  • expanding activities authorised under CASR Part 149 into innovation and technology
  • advocating for advanced air mobility (AAM, eVTOLs) to be administered under Part 149 by an Approved Self-administering Aviation Organisation (ASAO)
  • developing maintenance training using established training providers
  • incentivising pilots and maintainers from other systems to convert to RAAus administration.

The strategic plan, however, notes that membership fees are likely to rise by 10% per year for the period covered, driven by increasing insurance costs. Another of the areas of focus is the need to review the fee structure to reduce RAAus' reliance on membership fees.

"RAAus provides services at almost no cost to the taxpayer, nearly entirely funded by our own activities," Monck points out.

"Using Class 2 and Basic Class 2 Aviation Medicals issued by CASA as a proxy, RAAus administers approximately half the number of private aviation authority holders as CASA. We do this with a budget of just over $3 million and with less than 20 full-time staff.

"This is in stark contrast with CASA that has an income of more than $218 million with some $206 million from government sources including fuel excise, and a staffing level of 863 in the 2021/22 year.

"Our cost-effective structure and the way that we operate offers clear value to the broader community by allowing CASA to focus on fare-paying passengers that rightly demand a high degree of assurance with respect to safety and oversight.

"Our existence relieves CASA of the burden to provide similar services to many private aviators noting this needs to be done on a level playing field with CASA complying with the Australian Commonwealth Governments’ principles of competitive neutrality."

RAAus was established 40 years ago as the Australian Ultralight Federation (AUF). Now an ASAO operating under Part 149, the organisation has 9000 members, administers 181 flying schools and has 29 affiliated flying clubs. It has an income of around $3 million and has 3269 aircraft registered, 90% of which are three-axis controlled.

The complete RAAus strategic plan is available through Issuu.com.

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