Letter to Membership about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and SAFECON 2020
As I’m sure everyone is aware, the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has caused many schools to close or switch to online instruction. As a result, NIFA distributed a survey to gain feedback from the member schools as to whether or not their teams would be able to participate in SAFECON 2020 and to what capacity they’ve been impacted by global events.
The choices we had in front of us were:
- Continue as planned with SAFECON 2020
- Postpone SAFECON 2020
- Cancel SAFECON 2020
Upon reviewing the survey results, the overwhelming majority of schools would not be able to participate as planned. In addition to various national and local limitations, schools have implemented travel restrictions, limited the congregation of groups, and/or team members have returned home. During this time, most teams are unable to conduct practices. This, along with spool-up time once restrictions are lifted, leads to the question of acceptable preparedness for competition.
As for postponing to a later date, the NIFA Bylaws state that the National SAFECON must be held between April 1 and June 1. This limits our ability to postpone this year’s National SAFECON to a time that would be appropriate given the spread of the virus, and unknown duration of impact.
Regrettably, the NIFA Council has decided to cancel SAFECON 2020. The EAA has graciously agreed to uphold the offer to host next year for SAFECON 2021 at KOSH.
These are extraordinary circumstances and given the dynamic nature of events, the NIFA Council believes this is the best course of action. None of us are immune to the virus itself or to imposed governmental restrictions and WHO/CDC guidance. In keeping with the NIFA mission statement, we “promote, encourage, and foster safety in aviation”. The safety of our membership, volunteers, and industry partners is foremost in our decision-making.
NIFA Council will be discussing how and when to hold the annual business meeting. We will communicate those details in the near future.
Thank you for your understanding, please stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you at upcoming regional competitions in the fall.
NIFA Council Chairman
Region IX Representative