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COVID Requirements

  • Close the gate on entry and exit
  • Fill in the book in the club house on arrival so you dont forget
  • Ensure social distancing is maintained
  • COMSOA members are allowed at the field.
  • Non member, by invitation, are allowed at the field.

 

Covid 19 – current situation from Secretary ANSW

Here at ANSW, we often receive requests for information and guidance from clubs in respect of Covid 19, and we hope the following might be of some assistance.

This represents our current understanding, after several discussions with the Service NSW/Covid Hotline folk. We do know that people have received different interpretations and we would like to emphasise that these are NSW Government regulations, and not rules from Aeromodellers NSW or from MAAA. The NSW situation is also completely different to other states, so what people can or can’t do in QLD or Vic doesn’t influence the NSW approach.

The primary guideline: the maximum number at an outdoor gathering remains 20 and, for us, this includes pilots, visitors, children and babies. Each person counts as 1, regardless of their size. If someone brings guests to a club, they could be taking up numbers that might, otherwise, be used by flying members.

This 20 limit applies to one property title. It doesn’t matter if you have 1000 acres and some people are remaining in their cars in the car park. The limit is still 20 people, in total, on that property title.

Social distancing is still required, ie minimum gap of 1.5m between people, including at the flight line. There are some revised rules coming through in terms of concerts, food venues and the like, but the latest changes don’t affect our aeromodelling venues.

The above points have been confirmed by the Covid Hotline in October 2020. Useful link here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules

Registered businesses with Covid-Safe plans in place may be able to secure approval for a larger number, but the Covid Hotline has also confirmed that extraordinary circumstances are required for a typical club to get permission for larger numbers at an outdoor gathering, including fly-ins, competitions and Xmas parties. If you wish to run a larger end of year award ceremony, for example, you could hire a venue that is actually licensed to handle larger numbers, but there are then rules around everyone being seated, etc.

We have been asked about the 500 limit for community sports. We have checked this and the explanation is in the wording – “community sports that involve more than 20 participants”. Flying model aircraft does not involve more than 20 under normal circumstances, and is generally a private club activity, not a community sport held on public sporting facilities. The regulations also refer to “community sporting competitions” which, again, isn’t what a typical day at a flying club entails. That said, there may be one or two clubs in NSW where it may be worth exploring this. It’s a complex process both in terms of planning and submitting paperwork, and then in terms of compliance when the numbers exceed 20, so not one to undertake lightly. Useful link here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/community-sporting-competitions-and-full-training-activities

Your club should, already, have a Covid safety plan in place. If not, this link is a good place to start:https://www.nsw.gov.au/form/covid-safety-plan/community-sporting-competitions-and-full-training-activities

In many cases, it is a matter of working within the spirit and intent of the Covid 19 regulations. We get plenty of phone calls from members who have a different interpretation or who think they may have an approach that will allow for larger numbers. We also hear from people who have spoken to the authorities, or have heard from someone who has, and think that the rules are different, so the above information is based on our frequent calls to check. If someone calls us offering credible different information then we’ll enquire, again, so that all members can benefit, but the above is the latest information that we have.

Whilst some of this is limiting and it is frustrating, it is also very much better than it might otherwise be, and even our largest clubs are coping well with the limitations.

Best wishes and happy flying!

Clive Weatherhead

Secretary – Aeromodellers NSW