In 2013, the Swiss PRO AERO foundation is celebrating its 75th birthday! Cause to celebrate - not extravagantly, but quietly and reservedly yet worthily, much more in line with the financial resources. And also a reason to look back over the past – and cast a glance at what the future might hold.
For 75 years, more precisely since 19 May 1938, PRO AERO has campaigned in support of Swiss aviation. The foundation attaches particular importance to young people with an interest in aviation.
The Foundation Board regards the annual, one-week, summer aviation youth camp (JULA) -patron / sponsor: the PRO AERO foundation, organiser/facilitator: the Swiss Aero Club -.as one of its principal priorities. The camp is taking place for the 31st time in 2013. The figures surrounding it are impressive: Since the beginning, around 4,400 young graduates from every part of Switzerland and around 170 voluntary leaders. The PRO AERO foundation has provided a total of around CHF 1.6 million in its support.
Yet it is not just the camp, but also the award of the legendary PRO AERO recognition prize that forms part of the important activities of the foundation. The prize was inaugurated in 1985 and is generally awarded once a year to one person, group or institution from the field of civil and/or military aviation in recognition of special services. Among the recipients are illustrious names such as Claude Nicollier, the Air Force surveillance squadron (UeG), the Patrouille Suisse, Rega and the Breitling Orbiter 3 team.
What does the future hold in store? Two things stand out above all: Politics and finances. From the political perspective it is important to create a counterbalance to the increasingly determined opponents of aviation who are making their presence felt. With regard to finances, the foundation has a vital need to find new sponsors and expand the patronage - in order to ensure the capability to finance future youth camps and recognition awards. To mark the anniversary, a new PRO AERO brochure and a special edition of PRO AERO will appear as a supplement to the AeroRevue and Cockpit.
Hansruedi Fehrlin President of the Swiss PRO AERO foundation