The EMFU aims to represent the interests of model flying with the European Union’s main regulatory actors: the European Commission (in particular its Directorate General for Mobility and Transport -DG MOVE) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as well as the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
The EMFU is a full member of Europe Air Sports.
Moreover, to represent model flying interests in the area of wireless communication, the EMFU is also a member of:
- the Association for Radio Communication (ISAD e.V.) (and, through this, is represented in the European Communication Standards Institute (ETSI) and the Telecommunication Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance Committee (TCAM))
- the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) (in particular the Electronic Communications Committee WG FM59)
Organisation and funding
The EMFU has an annual budget of around € 22’000. The majority of this budget is used to cover the fees of the organisations that the EMFU is a member of (in particular Europe Air Sports). The remainder of the budget covers the costs of the organisation of its annual general assembly and travel expenses for EMFU travel costs. The EMFU does not have an office or remunerated staff. Instead, it relies on volunteers from its member organisations as well as support from Europe Air Sports to do its work. The EMFU is mainly funded through the annual membership contributions from its member organisations, the amount of which is determined on the basis of their membership numbers. The current membership fee for full EMFU members is € 0.18 per represented pilot and year, with a minimum contribution of € 30 per year. Non-commercial associated members contribute € 0.08 per represented pilot and year, with a minimum fee of € 30 per year.
David Phipps (President)
Dave has been an active model flyer for almost 40 years, flying slope soaring gliders, helicopters, FPV drones and fixed wing powered aircraft. He has been CEO of the British Model Flying Association since 2005 and Secretary of the Royal Aero Club of the UK since 2009. He has served as a Technical Officer for Unmanned Aircraft with Europe Air Sports since 2014 and was a member of the EASA ‘Expert Group’ developing the EU regulations for unmanned aircraft. He has served as President of the EMFU since its foundation.
Laurent Henry (Vice-President)
Laurent started model flying 30 years ago mainly with gliders models and fixed wing aircraft. Volunteer in clubs for more than 30 years, elected in 2012 as Fédération Française d’AéroModélisme (FFAM) vice president, he has been elected as president in 2017.
He started working on UAS regulation on 2014 when discussions arrived in France. He has been following regulation topics ever since.
Frank Tofahrn (General Secretary)
Frank is active in the area of flying wings, multicopters and paragliders. His profession is the development and as head of a testlab the CE-certification of radio systems mainly in the area of short range devices which also covers R/C-systems at a big research laboratory.
Within the federal aeromodelling commission of the German Aeroclub (DAeC) he is responsible for the area of radio matters for R/C systems and also involved in the implementation of the European regulation for unmanned aircraft (UAV) in Germany. He is the vice president of ISAD, an association representing manufacturers and users of short range devices and active in several groups of ETSI, CEPT and UAV-DACH as a representative for R/C-systems for aeromodelling.
Haagen Valanes (Treasurer)
Haagen is 54 years old and started with free flight models at the age of 15, his first RC-plane at the age 18, and loves to fly glider planes. He has been treasurer for his local club for several years, and 10 years as a member of the board of Norwegian Modelflying Union, 8 years as vice-precident. He works as a CFO and live in Tromsø Norway.
Espen Bakke (Board Member)
Espen is 65 years old and a dedicated RC glider pilot. Competes in class F3J and F5J. He gave himself a small RC glider to his 40th birthday and loves the challenges he experiences and the very friendly competitors in the gliding environment. He has three children and one grandson. He is living in Oslo Norway.
Rob Buckley (Board Member)
Rob was elected in 2011 as secretary of the UK Large Model Association, and since 2015 has worked with the UK DfT, CAA and the other UK model flying associations to steer and define the national implementation of model flying regulation under the EASA unmanned aircraft rules. He continues to sit on several CAA working groups representing the interests of model aircraft flyers. In 2016, he was a founder member of the European Model Flying Union and is an executive board member. He started flying model aircraft in 1982, and has built and flown everything from free flight gliders to turbine powered aircraft but never really got on with helicopters. He trained as an aeronautical engineer, and since 1996 has worked on the design, airworthiness and certification of balloons, airships, light aircraft, airliners and both large and small unmanned aircraft platforms as a chartered mechanical engineer. He gained a fixed wing PPL in 2018 and now has a share in a permit to fly vintage aircraft.
Jürgen Lefevere (Board Member)
Jürgen is a passionate builder and pilot of large scale gliders. He can often be found on one of his favourite slopes in the Swiss Alps or on the airfield of his club near Zürich (Modellfluggruppe Erlenbach-Herrliberg), of which he’s also the vice-president. Jürgen is a specialist on EU regulation for Swiss Aeromodelling Federation (Schweizerischer Modellflugverband – SMV).
He was trained as a lawyer, and has more than twenty years experience as a negotiator and an expert in EU law. He is currently on sabbatical leave from the European Commission’s Directorate General on Climate Action.