Add the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) to the growing list of aviation organizations cancelling in-person events in 2021 as the global pandemic hangover continues. On Friday, VFS announced that it has scrapped its annual in-person Forum 77 gathering, which was slated for Palm Beach, Florida, from May 10 to 14. That event will now go virtual on those same dates.
VFS executive director Mike Hirschberg informed members that there would be “no way to hold the forum safely with any kind of in-person presence.” The extent of the reluctance of VFS members to gather in-person was revealed in a recent survey conducted by the organization: 75 percent said they would not attend; 65 percent said their organizations precluded travel to Palm Beach; only 8 percent said they are confident that they would be vaccinated by May 11; and 51 percent said they were not confident.
Of those who said they would not attend, 55 percent said it was due to personal covid concerns, while 29 percent said it was because of travel and/or conference restrictions. The VFS Forum cancellation comes on the same week the Helicopter Association International (HAI) pulled the plug on its in-person annual Heli-Expo convention, which had been scheduled for March 22 to 25 in New Orleans.