Dear Air Sport Friends,
As I sit down to write these lines I am still overwhelmed by the sad news of the recent sudden death of the General Aviation Commission President Hans Johann Gutmann. My thoughts and sympathy are with his family, and to reduce the load on them – and to fully appreciate the work he did promoting air sports and General Aviation – please turn to:
Nevertheless, I wish to send you this update on what’s going on within the FAI Executive Board. It is the first of what I intend to be routine open letters from myself to the FAI community. In fact, I intend to get the regular FAI Newsletter up and running again, reporting on the FAI position in the World of Sports and highlights from the various Commission newsletters.
It has been quite an experience to take on the work as the new President of FAI, and to lead a new Executive Board. I am most grateful for the support of the board and the staff at our headquarters.
The FAI General Conference (GC) in Dublin in October gave us several important missions
A number of quite heavy strategic issues, to say the least.
Apart from this, there was a strong voice from our members (NACs) about the level and type of support they expect to be provided by the FAI.
Your new board then had a meeting in early December, brought forward from the usual late January date, to enable us to get on with reviewing and prioritising the missions. This we did, taking into account the feedback from the conference in Dublin and also reviewing the process that the Secretary General had gone through to reach his recommendations. We set up areas of responsibility/portfolios for each board member, and a Finance and Report Task Force (FRTF) with our Finance director in the Chair, and started to work.
Meanwhile there have been a number of urgent issues -“bush-fires” if you like - and to give you some idea about these, here are some examples of major time and energy consuming issues that started considerable e-mail debate, not always fully updated with the facts.
Meanwhile, the work of the board with reviewing FAI structure and function, the STF recommendations, and the financial management of the FAI has been continuing.
To review the structure and function of a 105-year old, non-profit, organisation run mostly by volunteers is a sensitive issue. Many present anomalies are due to compromises and changes made a long time ago.
We have had live (and lively) consultations with the Commission Presidents. I am very pleased to increasingly involve our Commission Presidents more in FAI strategic issues, and now I plan to have similar consultations with those NAC Presidents that can make it to our meeting in August, hosted by our Centenary Founder member Aero Club of Italy. I appreciate that this meeting is not required under our Statutes, but I see it as an opportunity to engage with those NAC Presidents and representatives who are able to attend. For me it is important to get to know the key office holders in our member organisations better, and the GC week leaves little time for this.
Also, I anticipate that we will get more feedback on the discussed Statute changes at this meeting – maybe we can avoid some time consuming debate at the GC this way!
Finally I need to inform you that our Secretary General, Stéphane DESPREZ, will be leaving his position at his own request as from October 2011.
Now I wish you all a wonderful season of beautiful flights, training and competition; always fun and stimulating – in the spirit of Hans Gutmann.