06 May 2024

2024 FAI World Drone Racing Championship: Exciting return to China

The much-anticipated 2024 FAI World Drone Racing Championship is set to make an exciting return to China. This thrilling event is scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, over four days spanning from Thursday 31 October to Sunday 3 November 2024.

The world’s primary Drone Racing competition will once again witness the sport’s top pilots vying for the coveted title of World Champion across the Overall Individual, Junior (under 18), Women and National Team categories. The event will also feature substantial prize money for the winners.

Start of the race - 2018 FAI World Drone Racing Championships in Shenzhen, China

The competition will unfold through a series of thrilling heats, as competitors navigate their drones at speeds of up to 160 km/h around a specially designed track, using a first-person-view (‘FPV’) video headset.

The competition will be held in Hangzhou, at the state-of-the-art football stadium within the Shangcheng District Sports Center. Situated in the eastern part of China at about 160 km from Shanghai, Hangzhou has a proven track record of successfully organising large-scale events, such as the Asian Games in 2023.

Football stadium within the Shangcheng District Sports Center

The bid to host the competition has been awarded to the Aero Sports Federation of China (ASFC). ASFC will be supported by the National Sports Group, known for their expertise and experience, to ensure a successful and memorable championship.

The President of the FAI Aeromodelling Commission (CIAM) Antonis Papadopoulos said: “We're delighted to have one of aeromodelling’s biggest events making its way back to China. We have no doubt that the Aero Sports Federation of China and the National Sports Group will be pulling out all the stops to deliver an incredible championship for both the fans and the participants.

“With its inclusive nature, Drone Racing provides equal opportunities for juniors, seniors, and women, ensuring that everyone can have a chance at winning the coveted title of World Champion. But in this sport, the stakes are high, and fortunes can change in the blink of an eye. Ultimately, it all comes down to the pilot's capacity to maintain peak concentration, leverage their skills, and draw upon their experience. That’s what makes Drone Racing so exciting!”


For each national team, a maximum of five competitors including at least one female will be permitted to participate in the competition.

Additionally, wild cards will be awarded to the following pilots if they are not selected in their national team:

About Drone Racing and the World Championships

The 2024 FAI World Drone Racing Championship will signify the fourth instalment of the event. The inaugural two editions were hosted in China:  Shenzhen in 2018 and Ningbo in 2019. These were followed by the third 2023 championship in Namwon, Korea.

2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championships in Namwon, Korea

Drone racing is an exhilarating, high-speed sport that challenges pilots to outmanoeuvre opponents on specially constructed tracks featuring obstacles.

Key points:

  • Drone Racing offers equal opportunities for both women and men to excel and become champions.
  • Several (up to six at a time) radio-controlled multi-rotor model aircraft compete to be the fastest around a closed circuit.
  • The drones used are multi-rotor craft that weigh no more than 1kg. They are equipped with on-board video cameras that transmit real-time video images to the goggles worn by the pilots. This allows them to control the tiny aircraft around the circuit.
  • The drones can reach speeds exceeding 160 km/h (100 mph), requiring lightning-fast reflexes from the pilots.
  • The circuit includes gates and other obstacles that the pilots must navigate to reach the finish line in the fastest time.
  • The events can take place indoors or outdoors.
  • Each race generally lasts about three minutes.
  • The winners of each race go on to compete against each other in successive races, culminating in a final round that determines the overall champion.

Hangzhou's Jixian Pavilion

Photo credit: Fung Martin; Kaisa; Yong-chan NAM/KAMA; JK JK