The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) or the World Airsports Federation is the world governing body for a wide range of competitive air sports ranging from orienteering by plane, precision flying and landing, hang gliding, parachuting, gliding, model airplanes, air racing and many more disciplines. Some of these events are managed by separate governing bodies under the supervision of the FAI. Two very prominent World Tours include the World Championship Air Race and the Paragliding World Cup Tour. One of the key events that started in 1997 is the FAI World Air Games, which is a premier, international, multi-discipline air sports event under the rules of the FAI. The next Air Games will be in 2022 in Turkey, the country that also staged the inaugural event.
The FAI was founded in 1905. The international organisation is non-governmental and not-for-profit recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Their main goal is to grow and develop aeronautical and astronautical activities worldwide. This is further emphasised by the network created from having over 100 member nations. One of the key tasks of the FAI is to oversee and manage international competitions. Considering the nature and complexity of some disciplines, compared to other sports this is a momentous task. Through these continental and international competitions, the FAI also ratify new world records set by competitors. To set these benchmarks, specific rules are established for the control and certification. Apart from promoting high levels of skill, proficiency and above all, safety, medals and diplomas are awarded to those who have contributed to achieving the core values and mission of the FAI. Air Sports are not just about competitiveness, it is also about those who share their passion for the various disciplines. This includes restoration of old aircraft, something that is highly valued by the FAI.
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the home of many international sports governing bodies, no successful organisation can operate for over a hundred years without a mission and vision statement that is also acted out. These values are to promote air sports and recreational flying worldwide and to envisage a safe environment open to anyone participating at a cost that is reasonable to achieve.