PAFRA - Pilots And Friends of Rochester Airport
PAFRA Flying Club was originally formed at the same time as the new Airport Company to achieve three things. To put the Heart back into Rochester Airport, as a vehicle to campaign and raise funds to help save the Airport and to support General Light Aviation at Rochester. We organised many events to make the Airport a place that people want to come to, who are either Pilots or have an aviation interest.
Others are very welcome to join in with us. We are a group dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the long tradition of Light General Aviation and its service to the local community and will continue to campaign for the longer term preservation of this Historic Airport whilst at the same time enjoying our sport and recreation.
Rochester Airport has been saved from closure for the short term by the unstinting efforts and financial support of a group of local business people, most of whom are also PAFRA members.
We want to continue, as far as possible, the existing services provided for private, business and emergency aviation services and enhance them to bring both increased economic benefit to Medway, but also continue to provide facilities for aviation as a sport and recreational pastime for its surrounding area, its businesses and its community.
The benefits of maintaining a flourishing airfield in the heart of the Medway Towns will become apparent not only to the business community but also providing for the sporting activity of light aviation and also for training of our future Airline pilots.
During our first 5 years PAFRA raised many thousands of pounds to help fund the immense costs associated with the legal challenges to Medway Council's efforts to close the airport. PAFRA was rewarded last year (2003) when a continuation of the the licence was won.
For the next few years PAFRA has handed over the reigns for the fund raising events to the Airport managers who we hope will continue the excellent traditions set up by PAFRA members and continue to provide excellent attractions and fund raisers for the whole community.
The Pilots and Friends group will scale up their efforts to provide a series of activities but the emphasis will be on the core Flying activities such as Fly Outs, Aviation talks and Safety lectures in the PAFRA Clubhouse, plus our traditional Easter and Bonfire night activities.
We are pleased that so many new and student pilots flying with the training schools at Rochester have joined up and we welcome them to our trips and talks.