The Delegates to the FAI Members gathered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to attend the 109th FAI General Conference organised on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 September 2015 by the Royal Netherlands Aeronautical Association. It was preceded by the 2015 FAI Awards Ceremony on Thursday, where the prestigious FAI and FAI-Breitling Awards were presented to the recipients.
A special parachuting demonstration was held before the start of the Sessions, and the participants had the opportunities to admire the Airbus E-Fan. The electric two-seater aircraft was on display on the quay beside the former cruise ship SS Rotterdam aboard which the Conference took place. Two hot air balloons were inflated, one of them being the promotional balloon of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 where the best air sports athletes will compete in December. It was brought by a Dubai delegation led by H.E. Yousif Al Hammadi, Director of the Games, who came especially to the Conference to update the Delegates on the preparations of the competition.
H.E. Al Hammadi brought the torch of the Games to the Conference and addressed the assembly. He expressed Dubai’s ambition to “turn the challenges of the Games into opportunities” and stated that “Dubai is ready and prepared to host the FAI World Air Games in December this year […]. [They] will be an unforgettable experience for all participants and delegates”.
For the first time, the Sessions of the Conference were preceded by several workshops that allowed attendees to learn and discuss about selected topics. The program included Women in FAI, Anti-Doping and FAI World Air Games Q&As, Organiser Agreement and Bidding Process, IT, Green Environmental Standards, Rules and Regulations, and Cross cultural training.
The Executive Board presented the “FAI 2020” concept which includes a re-view and re-fining of the FAI Brand to continue its development
Reports on different projects were made during the Conference. They included:
Several Delegates came up on stage to share their experience or provide information on various topics. They included:
Bruno Delor, 1st Vice President of the FAI Aeromodelling Commission, presented the new challenges stemming from the activities of the drones.
Gr. Captain Veerayuth Didyasarin presented the project of the establishment of the Air Sports Federation of Asia (AFA) to increase the number of members of air sports of Asia and to form and expand coordination with countries in Asia.
Pilot Sergey Ananov from Russia (right) gave a vivid account of his attempt to circumnavigate the globe on a helicopter which abruptly ended when his helicopter crashed into the sea between Canada and Greenland. He told the Conference how he survived on an ice flow keeping polar bears at bay before being rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard.
The host of the 111th FAI General Conference in 2017 will be decided at a later stage.
The next FAI General Conference will take place in from 14 to 15 October 2016 in Bali, Indonesia.
There were no elections this year, except for the Statutes Working Group and Active Members Representatives of the FAI Air Sport General Commission CASI (France, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, United Kingdom).
The next elections for the FAI Executive Board, including the Presidency, will take place in 2016.
The Minutes of the General Conference will be released at the beginning of 2016.