Event Website for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 Now Up and Running

WAG2015-websiteFAI invites you to visit the new event website for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015. Managed by the Emirates Aerosports Federation (EAF) as the host of the event, it offers quick and easy access to essential information about the Games.


Drone Model Aircraft


New aeromodelling activities are possible with opportunities offered by current technology, miniaturisation of on-board electronic devices (gyro sensors, altimeter, telemetry, GPS, video camera, ...) and associated flight systems (flight stabilisation, automatic flight control,...), whether or not they are combined with new types of model aircraft such as multi-rotors.

As an illustration, First Person View (FPV) activities are rapidly developing in some counties with the established performance of on-board video cameras transmitting to a pilot’s headset or to a screen on the ground.


In this context, CIAM has produced a draft rules document to help the organisation of recreational or sporting events for "drone model aircraft". This document must be clearly considered only as a guideline document and definitively not as an official FAI set of rules.

Two types of events are covered in the draft rules document:

  • Contest event for multi-rotor drone model aircraft (FPV Racing and Freestyle Aerobatics).
  • Recreational event based on a list of flight tasks to be done (task A to task H) for multi-rotor and/or fixed wing drone model aircraft.

Download the draft rules document  (Edition 1 effective 1st May 2015 modified for english wording corrrectons 1st July 2015)

Such events can be organised on a national basis, but also on an international one if a country is interested in organising an international event. In the case of an international event, publishing it on the FAI Sporting Calendar is recommended.

Note: For aeromodelling activities, use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) must be avoided. Indeed, those terms relate directly to FAI class U which corresponds to professional activities (scientific research, commercial, governmental or military purposes) done with an aerodyne that does not carry a human being. It is important to avoid any confusion between those professional activities and aeromodelling activities (competition, sport or recreational purposes) corresponding to class F.

Useful definitions

Model aircraft: An aircraft of limited dimensions, with or without a propulsion device, not able to carry a human being and to be used for competition, sport or recreational purposes.

Important note: For the whole flight, a radio-controlled model aircraft must be within visual line of sight (VLOS) of the person who directly assumes its control or who is in a situation to take the direct control at any moment, including if the model is being flown automatically to a selected location.

Drone model aircraftf: A model aircraft equipped with on-board electronic devices (video camera, gyro sensors, altimeter, telemetry, GPS, , ...) for the main purpose of video or still photography and/or to assist automatic flight.


  • All types of visual recordingbe considered: photos or videos done with or without information feedback towards the operator(s).
  • A drone model aircraft may be heavier than air (aerodyne) or lighter than air (aerostat). Heavier than air may be rotorcraft (such as a multi-rotor) or fixed-wing (aeroplane, glider,…).

Self-guided drone (model aircraft): A drone equipped with a programmable autopilot system which can automatically stabilize the drone and/or initiate a programmed flight path. Such a drone is mission-orientated and computer controlled nearly its entire flight, but it must be possible for the flight operator to instantly de-activate the autopilot system.

Note: it is strongly recommended that the system includes a "Return To Home" (RTH) function so that the drone may automatically return to a selected location in case the radio link is lost.

Flight operator: The pilot who flies the drone and makes flight decisions based on received information. The flight operator is permitted a helper who can feed information from a video link.

Important notes:

Visual line of sight (VLOS) of the drone model aircraft must be maintained for the entire flight.

Similarly, a self-guided drone model aircraft must be maintained within VSOL for the whole flight.

If the flight operator is unsure about the VLOS of his model aircraft at any time during the flight, he must have a helper situated to maintain permanent direct unaided visual contact with the model aircraft and if necessary to take direct control or to inform the flight operator immediately of any danger.FPV flight requires such a helper (other than the FPV flight operator) situated to guarantee the VSOL of the drone model aircraft during the entire flight.

First Person View (FPV): A video view of the model aircraft's camera transmitted to a pilot headset or to a screen on he ground.

Note: it is strongly recommended that the system is configured to initiate a failsafe procedure that cuts off themotor(s) when losing the radio link.

Impact of National Regulations

Each country regulations take precedence. The organiser may define any local rule that he considers appropriate, especially to ensure the airworthiness of the activity and for airspace regulations applicable in the organising country.

Such local rules may especially concern:

  • How to ensure the permanent VSOL of the drone (safety operator,...).
  • national regulations applicable for FPV flight (safety operator with or without a dual radio-control transmitter, RTH function,…).
  • Limitations on dropping of objects.

General characteristics of a drone model aircraft

For a model aircraft event for drones, it is recommended to limit the maximum flying weight to 5 kg. In any case, the flying weight must be under 25 kg which corresponds to the general characteristic of a model aircraft (see Volume ABR Section 4C 1.2).

A noise limit of 96 dB(A) at 3 metres is also strongly recommended.

Other specifications may be defined for the event such as a maximum span for a fixed wing or swept area of the lifting rotor(s) for a rotary-wing.


The Event Director, the Flight Director and other judges must always take safety into consideration and ensure that participants, helpers and officials involved at the flying site comply with the safety rules defined by the organiser.

Any participant who infringes or ignores the safety rules may be disqualified, without right of appeal. Any other person who deliberately infringes or ignores the safety rules may be excluded from the flying site.

(Photo credit: Rodolphe Jobard)

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