This time of year is always an exciting one in the Aerobility community. For many other flying clubs, the winter months often bring a chance for some recuperation after the busy summer season. However, with the annual Aviators Ball to prepare for, there is no rest here!
The Aviators Ball has become the highlight of the aviation winter calendar, bringing together the civilian, military and corporate sectors in a relaxed and informal way that is entirely unique. The shared understanding of the magic of flight by all who attend makes this event a fantastic evening of fun and fundraising to support our charitable work for the year ahead.
Aerobility is a charity and flight training organisation which operates from Blackbushe in Surrey, Tatenhill in the Midlands and Prestwick in Scotland amongst other airfields on detachment. The name ‘Aerobility’ encompasses who we are as a charity by combining our core-attributes: Aerospace and Ability. We strive to remove the barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from taking part, so that everyone is able to benefit from the life-changing experience of flight.
This year, the Aviators Ball has been generously sponsored by NATS, and we would like to extend our thanks for this support to the entire NATS community. Our relationship with NATS has been our most successful corporate partnership to date, and has been incredibly significant for the development of the charity. Much like the success of the Aviators Ball, the success of the NATS partnership can be attributed to that shared understanding of the benefits of aviation.
We first met with representatives from NATS and Prospect ATCO, the union representing the majority of UK air traffic controllers, on a dark, cold and windy airfield – enough to put anyone off a return visit! Luckily for us, the guys and girls at NATS are not that easily dissuaded. Over the next 18 months the entire organisation showed incredible commitment, organising a number of fundraising projects that led to a total donation of over £150, 000. I can assure you that these fundraising challenges led them to many more cold and windy airfields!
With this incredible financial injection, Aerobility was able to replace an aging PA-28 with a brand new Tecnam P2002JF. This is the world’s first aircraft to have been factory made and specifically designed for use by individuals with disabilities. As well as providing more accessibility options to our members and students, the Tecnam also represents a significant financial saving for both individuals and the organisation, releasing funds to be spent on more hours in the air! We are looking forward to taking delivery of the Tecnam in the coming months.
We are confident that the Aerobility-NATS partnership will continue to grow and develop; there are some very exciting projects in the pipeline that we are looking forward to working together on. Our thanks to NATS and Prospect ATCO cannot be expressed enough, in particular to Richard Deakin whose personal enthusiasm for the partnership made all of this possible.
We hope that all who are attending the Aviators Ball enjoy the evening. If you would like any further information on Aerobility and the work that we do, please visit www.aerobility.com or email us at [email protected]. Information specifically about the Aviators Ball is here.
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