The positive development of air sports in Asia took a big step forward yesterday, following a meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), FAI and two Asian continental air sports organisations in Dubai.
It brought together representatives from several bodies dedicated to air sports in Asia, committed to unite and work together. They agreed to adopt a joint approach in the development of air sports across the Asian continent. As a result, the Asian two main air sport federations will now merge together into one air sports federation representing all of Asia.
The Airsport Federation of Asia (AFA) and the Asian Air Sports Federation (AASF) will join together, to create the new and larger organisation which will be the Air Sports Federation in Asia (ASFA). The AFA and AASF agreed to merge with the support and approval of the FAI, the World Air Sports Federation and the OCA, the Olympic Council of Asia. A memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday defining the next steps until an extraordinary Assembly to be held in May 2017.
FAI and its Air Sports Commissions provide with its Officials the expertise to organize top level sports on international level, including the recruitment of athletes for international competitions. It will continue to be involved also in the organisation of multisport events in Asia under the OCA, namely the next edition of the Asian Games, to be held in 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The new Asian Federation will start working immediately and coordinates, together with all its National Air Sports Federations and the respective National Olympic Committees, activities in preparation and execution of Paragliding in the Asian Games with the FAI Hang Gliding and Paragliding Commission (CIVL). The Test Event for the Asian Games in August 2017 will be run under technical rules approved by FAI.
FAI and the new ASFA also will work towards firmly establishing air sports in the future Asian Games, Asian Winter Games and Asian Beach Games.
The meeting in Dubai was hosted by His Excellency Yousif al Hammadi, Vice-President of the Emirates Aerosports Federation (EAF). Those present included: Husain al Musallam, Director General of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA); Frits Brink, FAI President; Agust Gudmundsson, FAI Executive Board Member; Susanne Schödel, FAI Secretary General; Markus Haggeney, FAI Sports and Events Director; Andy Chau, Board Member of the Airsport Federation of Asia (AFA); Tengku Abdillah, FAI Regional Vice President for East and South East Asia; Dr. Mubarak al Swilim, President Asian Air Sports Federation (AASF); Mohammed Yousuf, Board Member of the Asian Air Sports Federation.
A meeting later in March will again see air sports representatives from across Asia come together to continue strengthening air sports. The FAI Air Sports in Asia Summit is on 20 March 2017 in Hong Kong.