FAI President's letter - March 2014

Dear Air Sport Friends,

I hope you are enjoying wonderful flying conditions wherever you are.

Since the last General Conference so excellently arranged in Kuala Lumpur by the Malaysian Sport Aviation Federation there have been a number of developments and I wish to update you on the most important of them.

First I wish to let you know, that our contract with Red Bull Air Race has been re-activated and RBAR are on a World tour again. Please have a look at www.redbullairrace.com. It is of course most satisfying to be a part of this, and Jean-Marc Badan and Pierre Portmann continue to represent FAI in the contacts with RBAR.

As you know, Jean-Marc Badan stepped down as Secretary General after many years with FAI, and you have heard his reasons for this. I wish to take this opportunity of once again thanking him for his devoted service to the FAI and wish him the best of luck with his future. He will still be deeply involved with several FAI issues.

There were 22 very qualified candidates applying for the job as Secretary General. We have recruited Susanne Schoedel as our new Secretary General and she has arrived in early March. A separate presentation of her has been sent to you earlier. I have already been in regular contact with her as there are a number of on-going issues to be handled. Both Max Bishop and Jean-Marc Badan are updating her on the job and will be available for consultations, I thank them for this. She will be introducing herself at various Commission meetings, at the Commission Presidents Meeting as well as at the get-together of NAC Presidents in Stockholm in June.

Regretfully our Sport Director Rob Hughes has decided to move back to England with his wife, and will be leaving the FAI Head office in March. Considering the high work load for this position, the recruitment process is urgent and our incoming Secretary General is deeply involved in this process which is well under way.

I take this opportunity to wish Rob and his wife all the best and thank him for his passionate work for FAI as Sports Manager and Sport Director. Rob has offered to continue to assist the Secretary General when necessary, for which I am very grateful.

And our Membership Manager and Assistant to the Secretary General Ségolène Rouillon will be on maternity leave later this year and during this time Jerome Krieg  will again stand in for her. The e-mail addresses remain the same. We wish Ségolène and her family all the very best for their new arrival.

So in less than a year both the Secretary General and the Sport Director have stepped down. This is course quite worrying and indicative of the high work load at the Head Office. I am however confident we will be able to prioritise our key activities and move away from the all too frequent business of putting out bush-fires. The revision of the financial system, which was a much greater challenge than initially perceived, is now coming to an end. Some of the top priority issues that unfortunately have been pushed to the background while this very necessary work has been done are the potential World Air Games, the revision of the Organiser Agreement and of course normalising the work load at HO.  

Our commercial company FAME has so far not been successful for operating commercial activities and the FAI Executive Board will reconsider the situation of Sinergi being a shareholder of FAME. We will keep you updated on the progress.  The Executive Board is working very closely with the FAME Board and the CEO function is being revised. Our Executive Director Bob Henderson has this in his portfolio as Chairman of FAME as well as anti-doping, sports strategy and sponsorship relations, working – as all EB Directors - very hard for you all.

As for the Breitling contract, the Executive Board has now taken over control of this relationship and made ED Bob Henderson responsible for the oversight of this contract and the relationships between Breitling, the FAI, ASCs and event organisers.
As you know, the following events are selected as this year’s Breitling promotional events:

We have good hope that the FAI Anti-Doping Rules will be revised if we can continue to show that there are no doping problems in air sports. This year, the following commissions CIA (Ballooning), CIVL (Hang Gliding and Paragliding), IGC (Gliding), and IPC (Parachuting) have provided athletes for the registered testing pool, and I thank these persons for accepting this responsibility on behalf of all of us, as I thank those who did the same last year. If we remain “clean”, including having "Therapeutic Use Exemptions” (TUE) for those of us who take medications that are on the WADA list (as I do myself), we are hopeful that we will not have to have a test pool or be subject to over-testing. A meeting with WADA is planned for in May to continue these discussions.

The next General Conference will, as you know, take place in Thailand in October. We are keeping a close look at the situation in Thailand but there are no plans for changing country location.

At this Conference there will be elections, and I do hope that many of you consider taking the step to run for Executive Board or President. Please take note of the deadlines for these applications.

Soft landings,

John Grubbström      
FAI President

Dear air sport friends,

I hope you are enjoying wonderful flying conditions wherever you are.

Since the last General Conference so excellently arranged in Kuala Lumpur by the Malaysian Sport Aviation Federation there have been a number of developments and I wish to update you on the most important of them.

First I wish to let you know, that our contract with Red Bull Air Race has been re-activated and RBAR are on a World tour again. Please have a look at www.redbullairrace.com. It is of course most satisfying to be a part of this, and Jean-Marc Badan and Pierre Portmann continue to represent FAI in the contacts with RBAR.

As you know, Jean-Marc Badan stepped down as Secretary General after many years with FAI, and you have heard his reasons for this. I wish to take this opportunity of once again thanking him for his devoted service to the FAI and wish him the best of luck with his future. He will still be deeply involved with several FAI issues.

There were 22 very qualified candidates applying for the job as Secretary General. We have recruited Susanne Schoedel as our new Secretary General and she has arrived in early March. A separate presentation of her has been sent to you earlier. I am already in regular contact with her as there are a number of on-going issues to be handled when she arrives. Both Max Bishop and Jean-Marc Badan are updating her on the job and will be available for consultations, I thank them for this. She will be introducing herself at various Commission meetings, at the Commission Presidents Meeting as well as at the get-together of NAC Presidents in Stockholm in June.

Regretfully our Sport Director Rob Hughes has decided to move back to England with his wife, and will be leaving the FAI Head office in March. Considering the high work load for this position, the recruitment process is urgent and our incoming Secretary General is deeply involved in this process which is well under way.

I take this opportunity to wish Rob and his wife all the best and thank him for his passionate work for FAI as Sports Manager and Sport Director. Rob has offered to continue to assist the Secretary General when necessary, for which I am very grateful.

And our Membership Manager and Assistant to the Secretary General Ségolène Rouillon will be on maternity leave later this year and during this time Jerome Krieg  will again stand in for her. The e-mail addresses remain the same. We wish Ségolène and her family all the very best for their new arrival.

 

logo-breitlingSo in less than a year both the Secretary General and the Sport Director have stepped down. This is course quite worrying and indicative of the high work load at the Head Office. I am however confident we will be able to prioritise our key activities and move away from the all too frequent business of putting out bush-fires. The revision of the financial system, which was a much greater challenge than initially perceived, is now coming to an end. Some of the top priority issues that unfortunately have been pushed to the background while this very necessary work has been done are the potential World Air Games, the revision of the Organiser Agreement and of course normalising the work load at HO.

Our commercial company FAME has so far not been successful for operating commercial activities and the FAI Executive Board will reconsider the situation of Sinergi being a shareholder of FAME. We will keep you updated on the progress.  The Executive Board is working very closely with the FAME Board and the CEO function is being revised. Our Executive Director Bob Henderson has this in his portfolio as Chairman of FAME as well as anti-doping, sports strategy and sponsorship relations, working – as all EB Directors - very hard for you all.

 

As for the Breitling contract, the Executive Board has now taken over control of this relationship and made ED Bob Henderson responsible for the oversight of this contract and the relationships between Breitling, the FAI, ASCs and event organisers.

As you know, the following events are selected as this year’s Breitling promotional events:

·       The 5th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Gliding Championship
     9 to 16 May in Sisteron, France

·       The 11th FAI World Advanced Aerobatic Championships
     7 to 16 August in Dubnica nad Vahom, Slovakia

·       The 2nd FAI Junior World Hot Air Balloon Championship
     +
58th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett
     28 August – 6 September in Vichy, France

We have good hope that the FAI Anti-Doping Rules will be revised if we can continue to show that there are no doping problems in air sports. This year, the following commissions CIA (Ballooning), CIVL (Hang Gliding and Paragliding), IGC (Gliding), and IPC (Parachuting) have provided athletes for the registered testing pool, and I thank these persons for accepting this responsibility on behalf of all of us, as I thank those who did the same last year. If we remain “clean”, including having "Therapeutic Use Exemptions” (TUE) for those of us who take medications that are on the WADA list (as I do myself), we are hopeful that we will not have to have a test pool or be subject to over-testing. A meeting with WADA is planned for in May to continue these discussions.

The next General Conference will, as you know, take place in Thailand in October. We are keeping a close look at the situation in Thailand but there are no plans for changing country location.

At this Conference there will be elections, and I do hope that many of you consider taking the step to run for Executive Board or President. Please take note of the deadlines for these applications.