Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) yesterday announced a range of measures aimed at supporting members impacted by floods in south-east Queensland and NSW.
In a statement released last night, RAAus said it was aware of the compounding impact of the 2019-20 bushfires and the current flood crisis on members.
"Our member-based organisation is a community that looks out for one-another," said RAAus Chair Michael Monck. "And with a strong balance sheet we are very much able to play a part in supporting our members, aircraft owners, maintainers and flight training schools as they deal with these devastating floods."
The support package approved by the RAAus board includes:
- providing access to dedicated funds of up to $25,000 for RAAus aircraft owners, flight training schools and aircraft maintainers, where RAAus will co-fund up to 50% of insurance excess for aircraft, tooling, or flight training school premises to a maximum value of $250 per affected member
- setting aside up to $15,000 in registration fees for owners of severely damaged or written-off aircraft, to assist members when registering another aircraft or re-registering their repaired aircraft in the future
- making available $45,000 of financial assistance to flying schools should they temporarily re-locate or need to re-establish themselves
- supporting affected RAAus maintainers who may also seek extension to their membership for 12 months
- putting $10,000 towards helping L2/L4 maintainers to travel to affected locations and support aircraft owners as they repair aircraft
- continuing the existing program that funds working-bee lunches at airfields to support those working on the clean-up
- establishing a community of RAAus helpers, where members wishing to assist those in need, can advertise their services for the rebuilding efforts
- making available counseling services through a dedicated specialist service provider.
"Whilst RAAus provided a range of fee-waiving options throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in support of members doing it tough, this latest package, as approved by the RAAus Board, goes much further in terms of the quantum, whom it supports and how it will be delivered," said RAAus CEO Matt Bouttell.
"Over the coming week my team and I will be finalising the terms and conditions of each measure so we there are clear expectations for members around eligibility and how to access this support. This will all be communicated to members via a dedicated E-News along with updates to our website.”
RAAus has also called on private aircraft owners to consider cross-hiring aircraft to flying schools that have had fleet aircraft rendered unservicable by the floods.
Monck said that these measures could form the foundation of a support program for the recreational flying industry in the face of future disasters.
“The RAAus Board also recognises that we need to plan and support our members now and into the future," he said.
"We have committed to working toward dedicating a fund where our members can call upon RAAus in the future to assist in similar ways, should the need arise.
"We are still working through the details of this however we maintain the principle that as members of RAAus, the benefits extend well beyond the registering of aircraft and issuance of pilot authorisations.”
RAAus members needing help should apply directly to the RAAus head office.