The executive director of the National Association of Flight Instructors has resigned and it appears financial issues are behind the decision. Jason Blair, who has held that post since 2008, resigned Sunday, saying the organization apparently couldn't afford him. "I fully support the mission of NAFI and hope the association and its members can find a way to continue the growth of the association and eventually return to a point where the position of an executive director is financially sustainable," Blair said. He also said the group needs more financial support or "difficult decisions have to be made." Former NAFI Chairman Ken Hoffman said the news came as a surprise to him and deferred comment to new chairman Robert Meder who was unavailable at our deadline.
NAFI went through a period of controversy over changes to its governance in late 2008 and that led to the formation of a breakaway group that became known as the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), which has continued to operate. Blair did not say in his news release whether the creation of SAFE led to the financial woes at NAFI. He said there has been significant cost-cutting at NAFI but it needs more money to survive. "We have enjoyed support from several long-term partners who have enabled us to do much, but without additional strategic partners that see value in supporting NAFI, difficult decisions have to be made," said Blair.