In a symbolic gesture, the torch of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 was lit and handed over today by FAI to the Emirates Aerosports Federation (EAF) as the Games Organising Committee. The ceremony took place at the Olympic Museum in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, where FAI holds its headquarters. It featured distinguished guests from the air sports community and beyond.

The event marked the start of a world tour that will bring the awareness of the Games to a global level. A promotional presence will thus be ensured at various competitions, air shows and events around the globe to reach the largest possible audience.

FAI President Dr Grubbström declared: “The FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 are our chance to provide an unprecedented exposure to our exciting air sports. We already know that they will be fantastic, with spectacular sports, thrilling competitions at wonderful venues in the city of Dubai. What we need to do now is to make sure that the world is aware of the Games by giving them a wide publicity. Ultimately we want to have the whole world follow the Games in December, and, in the wake of the event, to see many young and less young people knock at the doors of aero clubs to join the air sports community. Today’s ceremony and air show, together with the world promotional tour, will certainly be one of the main keys to complete these objectives.”

The climax of the day was when Dr Grubbström passed on the torch of the Games to his Excellency Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN. He gave it to His Excellency Saeed Mohammad Harib, Secretary General of the Dubai Sport, who in turn gave it to His Excellency Mohammad Yousuf, Al Hammadi, Deputy Director of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015, who ignited the burner of a hot air balloon set in the front garden of the Museum. The balloon was then inflated and fully blown up, revealing its specially created envelope featuring the Games logo and colours. “A truly exceptional, emotional and symbolic moment,” Dr Grubbström later commented.

Before the handover of the flame, an unforgettable air show gave a glimpse of what air sports can offer, to the delight of the public and the guests alike. Flying right in front of the Museum over Lake Geneva, vintage planes were admired for the charm of their bygone designs and the characteristic sound of their old-time engines. The P3 Flyers Team demonstrated all the beauty of formation flying, while Swiss acrobatic pilot Jérôme Cusin impressed with his skilful acrobatics manoeuvres. Demonstrations of parachuting such as accuracy landing, wingsuit flying and canopy formation wowed the crowd at the end of the show. On the ground, a glider and model aircraft exhibition was also set up for the occasion.

Dr. Grubbström and His Excellency Al Hammadi delivered speeches in the presence of the guests and media which were later given a presentation explaining the concept, challenges and opportunities of the multi air sports competition.

An Aviators Gala Dinner was held in the evening, drawing a close to a memorable day.

About the FAI World Air Games

The FAI World Air Games, conducted under the rules of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), is the premier international multi-discipline air sports event fielding the world’s top Air Sports athletes.

The FAI World Air Games 2015 has been awarded to the United Arab Emirates and will be held in Dubai. This multi-discipline event will be organised by the Emirates Aerosports Federation under the patronage of the Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and will take place from 1 to 12 December 2015.

A Memorandum of Agreement was signed on 4 June 2014 by Dr John Grubbström, FAI President, and His Excellency Nasser Al Neyadi, President of the Emirates Aerosports Federation.

The FAI’s primary goals for this event are to determine “FAI World Air Games Champions”; to showcase air sports to the general public and promote public participation in air sports by attracting new participants to air sports disciplines; to promote FAI events to other sports organisations and create an attractive platform for TV, media and other external stakeholders.

The past editions of the Games took place in Turkey (1997), Spain (2001) and Italy (2009).

Bericht van de FAI.