Update on EAA and Major Fly-Ins
December 20, 2007 — For the past several months, representatives of the major fly-ins throughout the nation commonly known as "regional fly-ins" have been discussing with EAA staff the structure and relationships between EAA and these large events that have carried the EAA name.
Some of these events have existed for many years. These are not and have never been EAA-owned or -operated events, but rather grew from the efforts of local EAA members, chapters and aviation enthusiasts seeking to create a community that shares EAA's mission of promoting the spirit of aviation.
EAA encourages events that bring people together to enjoy the world of flight. Through the years, however, the perception of these events and the environment in which they operate may have changed, often due to forces beyond anyone's control. This requires clarification in the relationship between EAA and these events.
Naturally, there are questions that come from such discussions. Below are answers to some of the most common questions:
- What changes are being discussed?
EAA headquarters and leaders of the regional fly-ins are finalizing a relationship which will provide mutual benefit to everyone involved and more accurately reflect the actual relationship between EAA and the independent local groups that organize these fly-ins.
- Why are the changes being discussed?
EAA wants to address any misunderstanding among fly-in attendees that EAA may be active in or responsible for the operation of the regional fly-ins. In addition to EAA's concern about confusion in the minds of the public, this apparent misunderstanding was a significant factor in a recent judgment and damage award arising from an accident at a regional fly-in. The damage award affected the evaluation of EAA's coverage in the insurance market and created a situation that, if not addressed, would lead to very significant and unsustainable increases in the cost of EAA's insurance coverage at the levels required for all of its programs. Such a situation would harm not only EAA, but the regional fly-ins. Therefore, it was prudent for EAA and the organizers of these fly-ins to evaluate and clarify their relationships and public communications.
- Is EAA no longer insuring regional events?
In the past, EAA arranged for insurance coverage as part of its overall aviation insurance plan. The regional events then reimbursed EAA for their portion of the insurance costs. Due to changes discussed previously in this document, EAA will no longer be able to include regionals as part of that operating model. Fortunately, there are brokers and underwriters willing and capable of serving the regional fly-ins as independent events at what we anticipate will be affordable and sustainable rates. EAA will introduce the fly-in organizers to insurers that can independently provide quotes for this coverage.
- I heard these will no longer be called official EAA events. Why not?
All of these fly-ins have independent operating bodies, all separately incorporated within their home states. While not specifically carrying the EAA name, the event names will reflect their distinct identities as independently owned and operated events.
- What will EAA do at these events?
EAA would like to participate at these events through sponsorship of specific areas, such as forums, workshops, aircraft judging and awards banquets, among others. EAA will also provide visibility through its publications, internet resources and other members' and chapter communications to encourage EAA members to attend these outstanding events.
- How does this impact the future of each event?
There is a consensus from the event organizers that they want to continue. However, each event annually decides on its own whether it will operate in future years by evaluating a variety of factors. That ability for the local organizers to determine their own course will not change.
- How does this affect typical EAA chapter events?
It doesn't affect typical EAA Chapter events. The more than 5,300 individual EAA Chapter events held each year are subject to a separate set of guidelines for their operations. EAA Chapters are chartered by EAA and are operated in accordance with guidelines established by EAA. Chapter events receive their insurance coverage based on following those guidelines. EAA will continue its support for these chapter activities.