I am very sorry to have to inform our members that the BMFA Council has taken the difficult decision to cancel the Radio-Control, Control-Line and Scale National Championships (the Power Nationals) that were due to take place at RAF Barkston Heath from 29th to 31st August 2020. The safety of our members and those attending is always our number one priority.
I appreciate that this will come as a huge disappointment, particularly after so many other contests and major model flying shows have already been lost to the COVID 19 pandemic. However, whilst there has recently been some welcome relaxation in the restrictions on movement and participation in recreational activities allowing some model flying to resume, it is clear that social distancing and additional measures for those who are more vulnerable to the virus will remain in force for the foreseeable future. There are no indications if, or when, the MOD will lift its current embargo on external use of its facilities or when the Government will permit large public gatherings.
Against this backdrop it has become clear that we would be unable to run the Power Nationals as an event open to the public: some of the elements that contribute to making ‘the Nats’ what it is, such as the intimate campsite, Sunday swapmeet and evening free flight jamboree will simply not be possible.
Furthermore, many of the competition classes are not viable with social distancing in place and the continued advice for elements of the population to remain isolated goes against the ethos of competing in the Nationals being open to all.
The BMFA Technical Committees will continue to keep the situation under review so that other competition flying can resume as soon as the conditions for each discipline and Government instructions allow. If circumstances change dramatically it may be possible for National Championships in some disciplines to be held before the end of the season but this currently looks doubtful.
Ian Pallister FSMAE