Nominations for the 2021 CASA Wings Awards will open on 1 July and close on 5 November, giving the general aviation community four months to lodge submissions.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority will once again support the Wings Awards, which were created to recognise valuable contribution of people and organisations to general aviation in Australia.
The categories for 2021 are:
- Col Pay Award for a Lifetime of Service to General Aviation
- Aero Club of the Year
- Flying Instructor of the Year
- Flying Training Organisation of the Year
- Young Achiever of the Year
Criteria for each of the categories is on the Australian Flying website. The nomination system will once again be completely online, with the links set to be published on 1 July.
Founded in 2014, the Wings Awards have recognised 28 people and organisations with 30 awards being handed out. According to Australian Flying editor Steve Hitchen, who is part of the judging panel, the 2020 awards proved the most challenging for the judges.
"We had more submissions that ever before and many of the final decisions were line-ball," he said. "The Col Pay Award was particularly close and just about any of the nominees could have won. The judging panel did more work to do than any other year."
The judging panel for 2021 will change, with Andrew Drysdale from the Australian Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) retiring after seven years. He will be replaced with David Pilkington, a respected aerobatics and tailwheel instructor and 2019 Flying Instructor of the Year.
Doug Nancarrow from the RAeS and former editor of Australian Flying and flying instructor Shelley Ross will return to the panel with Hitchen for 2021.
All 2020 presentations have now been done, which proved challenging due to COVID issues and the remoteness of two of the winners.
Images from the presentations are now up on the Australian Flying website. The link to the gallery is below.