17 FEBRUARY WING SPAN MAAALogo. These events can showcase the sport of aeromodelling, highlighting what can be achieved through following your passion of flying. It’s a great way to expose the sport to the general public, as well as raising vital funds for the club. Innovative clubmembers have also operated food stalls at local community festivals, along with holdingmodel aircraft displays with experiencedmodellers, explaining how our models work, from team race, combat and stunt. Clubs coming together has also positively impacted the aeroclub community. The Cairns Model Aero Club and the Cairns Miniature Helicopter Club Inc. recently merged into one club, resulting in a significant increase inmembership. “The benefits have been fantastic,” said Club President and Treasurer, Paul Dixon- who suggested the clubmerge. “I said, how about we get together and join up as one and we’ll go to this new site together and we’ll be able to really grow the clubs. So, that’s what happened. “The clubs have gone from15 to nearly 50members in a single year. The joining of the two clubs is growing our numbers constantly. We aremaking huge leaps and bounds with our progress. We’re very excited about our future and have a lot of interest from the council andmany other companies and entities in Cairns and the surrounding areas.” Club collaboration has been instrumental too, occasionally resulting in a club referringmembers onto another club, that ismore suited for the discipline the aeromodeller is flying. Where possible, themerging of disciplines can also help boost membership. “Sincemerging different radio control craft into one banner, we have been able to double our membership easily,” reported one such club. Another member recognised that there was perhaps a lack of facilities for the younger generation at some aeroclubs, suggesting that the setup of insightful workshops, could teach children basicmaintenance, safety and flight techniques. Clubs being actively supportive of the next generation of flyers by embracing new technology, such as drones, could also significantly impact membership numbers. “Handing out simple build kits to school kids, is a great way to spark an interest that could lead to future membership,” said another MAAA member. Overall, some excellent ideas and cultural improvement influences from our MAAAmembers to impact the growth and retention of our aeroclub community.