Welcome to the very last edition of The Aerospace Professional. As you will probably already know, from next month The Aerospace Professional and Aerospace International are going to merge into a single ‘new look’ magazine. It is interesting that the very same drivers that led to the then Aerospace splitting into two back in 1997 have evolved in such a way as to make their recombining absolutely the obvious way forward. Quite simply the web means we now get our information differently; news is no longer weekly or even daily, it is literally minute by minute.
Thus the purpose of the magazines has changed and the future magazine — AEROSPACE — will be features-led and more about in-depth informing than about breaking news. Of course there will continue to be specific membership information as well.
This is also my last President’s Message and I count myself extraordinarily lucky to have been President during such an exceptional year for the Society. I have previously reported on the work of truly global importance that has been delivered by various of our Specialist Groups during the past 12 months. Our reputation for expert and impartial opinion in all areas of aerospace has never been higher. Both individual and corporate membership numbers are up, as are their respective incomes. And as I write this I have just heard that ICAO has formally ratified our appointment of Capt Don Van Dyke, FRAeS, a member of the Montréal Branch, as our Permanent ICAO Observer. This is the first time ever that a non-state body, such as the RAeS, has been granted such status.
The past year has also seen the most significant changes to the Society’s governance in over 50 years. Early last year the then Finance Board asked the Society’s Auditors to undertake an external audit of our governance procedures. At that stage it was not clear when, or even if, the proposed governance changes would be implemented. In the event the audit occurred shortly after the final implementation and the full, unexpurgated report is available for all members to read on our website (at www.aerosociety.com/About-Us/Governance). It describes our new governance structure and associated documentation as being absolutely ‘Best in Class’. It also refers in the most glowing terms to the faultless implementation of the changes. This report says far more than I ever could in way of a thank you to all the many members of staff and of the Society who worked so hard on the project.
As an aside, a quick reminder, if I may, for those of you who haven’t yet voted either electronically or by paper, that there is still time to vote in this year’s Council Election.
In closing I must offer my personal thanks to all the many Branch members who have made me so very welcome at branch events both in the UK and overseas; to the Corporate Partners who have welcomed me to their businesses and to every single member of the Society’s staff who together have provided me with such unfailing support.
And now I am delighted to be handing over the Presidency to Jenny Body. Jenny had an outstanding career as an engineer with Airbus, has been an outstanding Council and Board member and is going to be outstanding President. I know you would all wish to join with me in wishing her the very best of luck.