Aero club buoyed by global sup­port

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

South Waikato Model Aero Club pres­i­dent Bruce Simp­son has been in­un­dated with sup­port from all over the globe.

Last week the club was banned from us­ing the Toko­roa Air­port by the South Waikato District Coun­cil un­til it gets clear­ance from Model Fly­ing NZ (MFNZ) and the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity ( CAA). This comes amidst re­ports from MFNZ that club mem­bers were fly­ing their mod­els dan­ger­ously at the air­field, al­though ac­cord­ing to Mr Simp­son, those claims are untrue. South Waikato News re­ceived hun­dreds of com­ments from in­ter­na­tional fans of the club on the pa­per’s Face­book page and let­ters of sup­port were sent via email. South Waikato News con­ducted a poll on our Face­book page ask­ing if SWDC was right to ban the club from the air­port. An over­whelm­ing 675 peo­ple voted no with only seven vot­ing in favour.

‘‘ As you have seen by the com­ments, emails and poll re­sults, Toko­roa has al­ready at­tracted the in­ter­est of RC mod­el­ers all over the world,’’ Mr Simp­son said.

Al­though the club is still banned from the air­field, it has made a few changes from within. ‘‘Nothing much has changed with the sit­u­a­tion be­tween SWMAC and SWDC ex­cept that the SWMAC is about to be­come an in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety to be known as SWIM ( South Waikato In­ter­na­tional Mod­el­ers).’’

As well as an over­whelm­ing cho­rus of sup­port glob­ally, thou­sands of dol­lars have al­ready been pledged from overseas model fliers to­wards the cre­ation of a fa­cil­ity in Toko­roa.

‘‘We’re now hop­ing that the SWDC will seize this ‘once in a life­time’ op­por­tu­nity to create a world-class recre­ational cen­tre that at­tracts reg­u­lar vis­i­tors from around the na­tion and around the world, while also giv­ing ev­ery man, woman and child in the district a place to en­joy a wide range of very af­ford­able hob­bies and other ac­tiv­i­ties in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

This is a once-in-a-life­time chance to put Toko­roa back on the map as a global Mecca for thou­sands of RC mod­ellers,‘‘ Mr Simp­son said.

STILL GROUNDED: South Waikato Model Aero Club still grounded.

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