The 102nd FAI Annual General Conference was held on 3 and 4 October 2008 at Saint-Vincent, in the heart of the magnificent Aosta Valley (ITA). Hosted by the Aero-Club of Italy, the FAI General Conference has been organised in great style by the Aosta Valley Region, in close cooperation with the World Air Games 2009 Organising Committee. Delegates representing 41 countries, 10 Air Sport and 4 Technical Commissions gathered to debate matters affecting air sports.
[img_assist|nid=481|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=250|height=239 ]Dr Bertrand Piccard appointed as FAI Honorary Patron The FAI General Conference unanimously appointed Dr Bertrand PICCARD (SUI) as Honorary Patron of FAI. Born into a dynasty of explorers and scientists who conquered the heights and the depths of our planet, Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones achieved in 1999 the first ever non-stop balloon flight around the world (see FAI World Records ). Betrand Piccard is now working on a new futuristic enterprise : to fly round the world in a solar-powered aeroplane (Solar Impulse). Visiting Saint-Vincent on Friday 3 October 2008 to receive the FAI Honorary Patron Diploma from the hands of the FAI President Pierre PORTMANN, Dr Bertrand Piccard shared some of his views with the Delegates during a captivating and inspiring speech. Using his aerial exploits to illustrate his concepts of the psychology of life, pioneering spirit and adventure, Bertrand Piccard explained the motivations at the origin of the Solar Impulse project, and “invited those who believed in the power of dreams to join him in his exploration of life”.
FAI Delegates at the main venue of the World Air Games 2009 Led by its President Giuseppe VIRIGLIO, the World Air Games 2009 Organising Committee (LOC) reported on the experience gathered during the Test Events held this year in Turin, Mondovi and Avigliana. An attractive video produced during the Test Events illustrated the sports events on the programme of the 2009 Games. The LOC President announced that the Organising Committee had been placed under the leadership of two new, full-time directors, Messrs Marco SAN PIETRO and Pierluigi DURANTI. Invited by the President of the Aero-Club Torino Angelo MORIONDO, the FAI Delegates had the opportunity, on Sunday 5 October, to travel to Turin and visit the main venue of the World Air Games 2009 (Torino Aeritalia Airport).
Election of the new FAI Executive Board Mr. Pierre PORTMANN (FRA) was re-elected as FAI President for a new two-year term. From left to right: Mr Max BISHOP (Secretary General), Messrs Alvaro de ORLEANS-BORBON (ESP), Willi ARPAGAUS (SUI), FAI President Pierre PORTMANN, Messrs Robert HENDERSON (NZL), Robert CLIPSHAM (CAN), Bengt-Eric FONSELL (SWE), Jonghoon LEE (KOR).
Next FAI General Conferences A strong Korean Delegation reported on the progress made for the 103rd FAI General Conference to be held from 8 to 10 October 2009 in Incheon (KOR). The FAI Delegates awarded the organisation of the 104th FAI General Conference to Ireland. Celebrating its centenary in 2010, the National Aero-Club of Ireland will host the FAI General Conference in Dublin.