The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) is a UK based world wide organization with divisions and branches in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Europe, South Africa, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.  The Society, founded in the UK in 1866, is the oldest aeronautical society in the world and has evolved into a global focal point for the entire aerospace community.

The RAeS is a learned society and is the professional body for the aviation and aerospace industries. Professional membership is available to those working in aviation and aerospace.

The New Zealand Division

A branch of the Society was established in Wellington in 1946, and meetings were held on an occasional basis. Following correspondence with the Society in London, the New Zealand Division was formed on 1 January 1949. The first Divisional Council meeting was held on 8 February of that year.

Branches of the new Division were established in Canterbury, Wellington, Palmerston North and Auckland in 1949, Hamilton in 1972, and later in Blenheim.

The Auckland Branch and the Divisional Council set up New Zealand Aeronautical Trusts Limited in November 1956 to act as trustees to hold and administer funds lodged with it and to abide by the terms of the several trusts declared at the time of receipt of moneys.

In September 1969 The New Zealand Division became one of the 30 Member Bodies affiliated to the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Division also has close links with the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland. During 1970, it was agreed that documents of historical interest relating to the presence of the Society in New Zealand (including closed Divisional Council files), would be collated and held by the Museum as agent for the Division. The close association with MOTAT continues. Since its formation, the Division has also had close contact with the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ). In December 1998, IPENZ and the Division formalised the close relationship that existed between the two organisations.

A detailed history of the Division is currently being prepared by Wing Commander Rob Allan and will be published in due course.

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