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Development of the World Air Games

Founded in 1905 upon the recommendation by the Olympic Congress, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) brings together at the international level representatives of all air sports from some 100 member countries. From its Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, the FAI aims at promoting and developing air sports in a spirit of friendship and cooperation to the benefit of all athletes practising these sports around the world.

Consistent with this aim, the FAI, in the mid-nineteen-eighties, started developing the concept of an “Olympiad” for its air sports : The FAI World Air Games.

After two editions of the World Air Games, FAI decided that the initial concept used in 1997 (Turkey) and 2001 (Spain) was unlikely to allow the goals set for the World Air Games to be achieved.

In close cooperation with air sports specialists and consultants in sports marketing, a new concept was developed, giving priority to quality over quantity : Fewer venues closer together; fewer athletes but the best of the best; shorter but innovative and more attractive competitions are some of the keywords of the concept for the 3rd World Air Games in Turin (Italy) in 2009.

In June 2014, the FAI World Air Games 2015 has been awarded to the United Arab Emirates.

World Air Games historical background

June 1986 - The Aéro Club de France (AeCF) proposes to organize the "Jeux Mondiaux de l'Air" in Toulouse in 1991.

Jun 1988 - The National Aero Club of Greece proposes to organize the 2nd WAG to be called IKARIADA in Greece in 1995.

Oct 1990 - The AeCF withdraws its proposal due to the lack of agreement with the Union Française des Fédérations Aéronautiques Sportives. The FAI General Conference gives Greece two years to prepare a detailed proposal for the Ikariada.

Feb 1991 - The World Air Games Coordinating Committee (WAGCC) is established to oversee and assist the Greek effort.

Sep 1991 - After several months of field work by experts from the FAI Air Sport Commissions, a program and budget are presented : The Ikariada will stage 22 events at 9 venues at an overall cost of USD $8.2 million. The FAI General Conference gives the official go-ahead to the Greek project.

Feb 1993 - A contract is signed between FAI and the Organizing Committee for the Ikariada established by the Greek Government.
Oct 1993 - Political elections held in Greece defeat the governing coalition. The WAGCC reports severe delays and inadequate project funding.

Feb 1994 - The National Aero Club of Greece reports that the new Greek government has withdrawn its support for the Ikariada and that the Organizing Committee has been disbanded. The WAGCC recommends termination of the Ikariada project and invites new proposals from FAI Members to organize the 1st World Air Games.

Oct 1994 - Australia, South Africa and Turkey submit bids for the 1st World Air Games to be organized in 1997.

Jun 1995 - Following withdrawal by the other bidders, the WAGCC recommends acceptance of the Turkish proposal.

Sep 1995 - A contract is signed between the FAI and Türk Hava Kurumu, the Turkish Aeronautical Association.

Sep 1996 - A series of Test Games including 11 sporting events at 6 different sites in Turkey are successfully conducted.

Oct 1996 - After analysis of the Test Games, the World Air Games implementation effort reaches full scale deployment.

Sep 1997 - The 1st World Air Games have become a reality.

Oct 1997 - The WAGCC presents its report on the World Air Games to the FAI General Conference.

Oct 1997 - Four FAI Members submit bids to organize the 2nd World Air Games in 2001 (Austria, Poland, Spain, Turkey).

May 1998 - The WAGCC recommends acceptance of the Spanish proposal. The FAI Council votes in favour of Spain. The second World Air Games will take place in Andalucia.

Jun 2001 - The 2nd World Air Games are held in Andalucia, Spain. (Please note that those pages are not updated any longer).

Jan 2003 - The bid process for the 3rd World Air Games to be held in 2005 is open. Australia, Italy, Malaysia and Poland express their interest in hosting the Games, but only Malaysia and Poland confirm their bid.

Jan 2004 - Taking into account financial and organizational uncertainties, the FAI Executive Board decides to cancel the 2005 Games.

Feb 2006 - After having conducted a thorough evaluation of the World Air Games situation, the FAI Executive Board confirms that the World Air Games should remain FAI's flagship event, and that professional sports consultancy would be mandated to review the format of the event.
Oct 2006 - The bid process for the World Air Games 2009 is opened during the FAI General Conference in Santiago de Chile.

Jun 2007 - Denmark, Italy and Russia present their final bids at the Olympic Museum. The FAI Selection Committee awards, by secret ballot vote, the organization of the World Air Games 2009 to Turin (ITA).

Nov 2007 - Aiming at having the World Air Games every two years, the bid process for the World Air Games 2011 is open. However, a deep economical crisis strikes the world, thus refraining potential hosts to make firm bids.

Jun 2009 - The World Air Games 2009 is held in Turin (ITA). The new format of the World Air Games proves to be successful.

Jun 2010 - After due consultation with the FAI Air Sport Commissions, the FAI Executive Board decides to stop the World Air Games 2011 project.

 

June 2014 - The FAI World Air Games 2015 are awarded to the United Arab Emirates.They will be hosted in Dubai by the Emirates Aerosports Federation.