Date change - now 23 Jul - 1 Aug 2021

Due to the continuing coronacrisis Fly-UK will this year be postponed from the summer solstice week and now run from Fri 23 July to Sun 1 August 2021.

Boris' recent announcement covering England indicates gatherings in excess of 30 people remain illegal until at least 21st June. We would have set off on the 18th. It therefore seems prudent to delay the trip. Scotland and Wales remain less clear but are hopefully on a similar timetable.

I know this will be a disappointment to those who have already booked aircraft, time off work, or have other commitments during the school holidays. Equally, others may find they're now able to attend whereas they otherwise could not.

I'll update the website and open registration shortly.

ANALYSIS

Boris' latest announcement (covering England) indicates an intention to change from Step 3 to Step 4 not before 21 June. This is slap bang in the middle of our planned dates.

The rules are clear as mud so difficult to interpret. The step change dates are flexible in one direction, so could easily be pushed back.

During Step 3 (from 17 May) gatherings exceeding 30 people remain illegal (unless it's a stadium where you can have 1000+). We do tend to get 30+ at at an airfield at some point during the trip. Whether we're a gathering or a sporting event I'm not sure, but in the spirit that weddings are still restricted to 30 people it doesn't seem viable to run a larger event during Step 3.

"By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact." With that language, all bets are off, it's political hopes and dreams and flexible dates that could well be pushed back.

Pushing the date back a few weeks will allow for: potential delay of Step 4; some variation in Scotland and Wales opening up; and for businesses we rely on (airfields, fuel, food, accommodation) to get their ducks in a row.

Fly-UK 2021 hangs in the balance

Well, what another year 2021 is turning out to be. Fly-UK 2021 dates were set. I was ready to begin planning in earnest come the new year. Then we entered another lockdown in late December and all bets are now off.

Given it runs over pretty much the same time of year, I was keeping a keen eye on whether Glastonbury was called off again this year. We don't need anywhere near as much preparation for Fly-UK, but it's not positive news that they've had to cancel.

I'm going to let things run their course for a couple more months before I need to make a decision to go ahead in June as planned, delay the trip until later in the summer, or reluctantly have to cancel completely again. Time will tell.

Let's remain optimistic that we'll begin to crack this pandemic as the vaccine rolls out, and be back to flying in some way shape or form in the near future while managing expectations that meeting in larger groups may well be restricted somewhat longer.

Fly-UK 2020 postponed

It seems like this year’s not looking like it’s going to be great year for flying or many other outdoor activities. Certainly not for the first half and possibly somewhat longer. It is with great disappointment I have now decided that I must postpone Fly-UK 2020 in June. This will come as a surprise to no-one and was becoming somewhat inevitable, but I have been holding off a final decision until things became clearer with the COVID-19 situation.

Airfields are now closing to all but essential users, and staff are working from home. Realistically it will be difficult to re-organise the trip at short notice even if we miraculously begin to come out of this period of lockdown by June. My best guess is that social distancing measures will remain in place for some time after lockdown ends and this will make our essentials of camping, eating and fuel difficult.

I will continue to follow developments, and may try to arrange a (likely smaller) event once the situation subsides later in the year.

Charity

Every year we raise a considerable sum of money for the Children with Cancer charity. With many tightening their belts to get through this and similar events cancelled charities are likely to suffer from reduced incomes this year. We’re extremely privileged to be able to fly. If you feel you can afford to, please consider still making a donation in a similar manner to that you would have had the trip gone ahead. Think about how much you’ve already saved in fuel! Charity page.

Refunds

Shortly before Coronavirus hit the headlines, I soft-launched registration. About thirty of you paid your registration fees and ordered caps and t-shirts before I temporarily disabled new registrations as COVID-19 accelerated. I’ll refund these payments through PayPal over the next few days.

I wish you all the best. Stay safe. See you on the other side.

Mat

Registration and shop temporarily suspended

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, I'm suspending registration and the Fly-UK shop for the time being. We'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks but given the timing of expected travel restrictions, etc. I'm currently minded to postpone the event.

Fly-UK 2020 registration soft-launch

Website registration, including t-shirt and cap orders are now live.