Approximately 50 delegates from various FAI Member countries attended the 2011 FAI Ballooning Commission meeting last week-end (A detailed summary of this meeting will be published soon).
The meeting was held on the 7th floor of the Aviation Building, downtown Tokyo, just when the earthquake struck Japan.
The severe shaking went on for minutes and we were very grateful to the constructors of the building, which moved very smoothly through the fierce rocking. We are very thankful to Mr. Sabu Ichiyoshi, of Japan Ballooning Federation, and his staff, who provided constant support during this difficult situation, helped everyone to calm down and convinced us to stay in the building which was the safest thing to do. Little did we realize at the time that many thousands of people would be killed in the tsunami following. The entire infrastructure of this well arranged and beautiful country is now at stake. And, even though most FAI Delegates are safely home by now, our warmest thoughts and sympathy are with the families of the missing loved-ones and injured, and in particularly with the entire Japanese Air Sports community, our friends and colleagues of the Japan Balloon Association and the Japan Aeronautic Association, now suffering the difficult aftermath of this terrible event. We wish them all the best in their future efforts to cope with the situation and to restructure their country.
The FAI family will do its best to help them in any shape or form possible through this process.
With our sincere and deep friendship.
The FAI President