ALAANZ 2020 / 2021 National Conference Update

The ALAANZ National Council have just announced their decision to cancel the ALAANZ 2020-2021 Conference, which was scheduled to be held in Brisbane from 5 to 7 May 2021.

Over the past six months the conference organising committee and ALAANZ National Council have continued to closely monitor the Australian State, Territory and Federal Governments and World Health Organisation updates and advices on COVID-19.

The conference was originally scheduled to be held from 6 to 8 May 2020. After the pandemic was declared, the Committee and the Council decided to defer the conference to 21 to 23 October 2020, in the hope the conference could still be held in 2020.

As the unprecedented impact of the pandemic continued throughout 2020, the Committee and the Council considered the progress of the various vaccines in development, the ‘hot spot flare ups’ here and overseas and the resultant border closures and quarantine measures, and the financial impacts continued to be experienced by the aviation industry.

In view of this, the decision was made to again postpone the conference, to 5 to 7 May 2021.

Over the past several months, the Committee and the Council have closely monitored the strategy for the proposed roll-out of the vaccines, the ongoing restrictions on international travel to and from Australia, and the responses of the State and Territory governments to new cases of COVID-19, in particular the more transmissible UK-strain.

Whilst the vaccine rollout has commenced, the Committee and Council appreciate that under the current timetable it is anticipated that the rollout will not be completed until October 2021, though unforeseen circumstances may delay this. Internationally, rollout of the vaccines continues in some countries and is scheduled to commence in others.

Whilst predictions were made in 2020 that international travel to and from Australia might open up by late 2021, many in government and in the health industry are now predicting this may not occur until at least the second half of 2022, though possibly later.

The Committee and the Council also acknowledge that many of its members and those in the aviation industry continue to do it tough at the moment, and that there remains an increased focus on ensuring spending is only on business critical matters.

Considering this, the Committee and the Council have decided the most appropriate course of action for you the Association’s members and the conference speakers and sponsors, is to cancel the conference this year. This will allow the vaccine rollout to continue, and in turn the flow-on effects for domestic and international travel, and the recovery of the aviation industry, to take greater hold.

The Committee and Council will convene later this year to discuss holding the prospects of holding the conference in 2022. At this stage the Council have not decided whether the conference will be held in Queensland (though third time may be the charm!) or whether one of the Association’s other branches will take on hosting duties. Once a decision is made, the Council will let you know.

The Committee and the Council appreciate that 2020 was the first time in the Association’s 39 year history that a conference was not held, and that the national conference is a highlight for many of the Association’s members, offering a forum for them to come together to learn more about key issues and developments for those in the aviation, insurance and legal sectors, and to form new friendships and renew old ones.

For the remainder of this year the Association’s branches (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, Western Australia and New Zealand) will focus on delivering functions for the local members. Where local conditions permit the branches will look to host functions in person.

The Committee and the Council know this is the right decision to ensure the health and safety of our members and delegates, speakers, sponsors, conference coordinators and suppliers. We value the contribution our members all make to the success of our conferences and our commitment to you remains 100% focused on delivering a world class aviation law conference.