Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

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Fédération Aéronautique Internationale
Abbreviation FAI
Formation 1905
Type Sports organisation
Dr. John Grubbström[1]
Secretary General
Susanne Schödel[2]
Website www.fai.org

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, FAI – The World Air Sports Federation, is the world governing body for air sports, aeronautics and astronautics world records. Its head office is in Lausanne, Switzerland.[3] This includes man-carrying aerospace vehicles from balloons to spacecraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (such as model aircraft and UAVs). It was founded on 14 October 1905.


The FAI was founded at a conference held in Paris 12–14 October 1905, which was organised following a resolution passed by the Olympic Congress held in Brussels on 10 June 1905 calling for the creation of an Association "to regulate the sport of flying, ... the various aviation meetings and advance the science and sport of Aeronautics."[4] The conference was attended by representatives from 8 countries: Belgium (Aero Club Royal de Belgique, founded 1901), France (Aéro-Club de France, 1898), Germany (Deutscher Aero Club e.V.), Great Britain (Royal Aero Club, 1901), Italy (Aero Club d'Italia, 1904), Spain (Real Aero Club de España, 1905), Switzerland (Aero-Club der Schweiz, 1900) and the United States (Aero Club of America, 1905).


The FAI is the international governing body for the following activities:

The FAI establishes the standards for records in the activities. Where these are air sports, the FAI also oversees international competitions at world and continental levels, and also organizes the World Air Games and FAI World Grand Prix.


1971 USSR commemorative stamp depicting Yuri A. Gagarin Gold Medal established by FAI

Among the FAI's responsibilities are the verification of record-breaking flights. For a flight to be registered as a "World Record," it has to comply with the FAI's strict rules, which include a proviso that the record must exceed the previous record by a certain percentage. Since the late 1930s, military aircraft have dominated some classes of record for powered aircraft such as speed, distance, payload, and height, though other classes are regularly claimed by civilians.

Some records are claimed by countries as their own, even though their achievements fail to meet FAI standards. These claims are not typically granted the status of official records. For example, Yuri Gagarin earned recognition for the first manned spaceflight, despite failing to meet FAI requirements. The FAI initially did not recognize the achievement because he did not land in his Vostok spacecraft (he ejected from it), but later it recognized that Gagarin was the first human to fly into space. The FAI then established "The Yuri A. Gagarin Gold Medal", which has been awarded since 1968.[17]


The following types of craft have records:

Some of the records[edit]

Date Measurement Person Aircraft Type
Class A: Free balloons
31 March 1999 40.814 km.[18] Bertrand Piccard and
Brian Jones
Breitling Orbiter Distance
4 May 1961 34,668 meters Malcolm Ross and Victor Prather
Winzen Absolute altitude
Class C: Aeroplanes
11 February 2006 41,467.53 km Steve Fossett Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer Flight distance record (without refueling)
28 July 1976 3,529.56 km/h Eldon W. Joersz Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Flight airspeed record
31 August 1977 37,650 m Alexandr Fedotov MiG E-266M Flight altitude record
22 October 1938 17,083 m Mario Pezzi Caproni Ca.161 Flight altitude record (piston engine without payload)
Class CS: Solar-Powered Aeroplanes
7 July 2010 9,235 m
26 h 10 m 19 s
André Borschberg Solar Impulse (Prototype) Solar powered Duration and Flight altitude record[19]
25 May 2012 1116 km André Borschberg Solar Impulse (Prototype) Solar powered Distance
Class D: Gliders & Motorgliders
29 August 2006 15,460 m Steve Fossett and
Einar Enevoldson
Glaser-Dirks DG-505M (modified) Gliding Altitude[20]
21 January 2003 3,008.8 km Klaus Ohlmann and
Karl Rabeder
Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4 Gliding Distance
Class E-1: Helicopters
11 August 1986 400.87 km/h John Trevor Egginton Westland Lynx G-LYNX (modified) Speed over a straight 15/25 km course[21]
Class G-2: Parachuting Performance Records
14 October 2012 1357.6 km/h[22] Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Vertical speed
Class I-C: Manpowered aeroplane
23 April 1988 115.11 km
3h 54mn 59s
Kanellos Kanellopoulos (GR) MIT Daedalus 88 Human powered Distance and Duration
Class O: Hang Gliding & Paragliding
12 December 2008 501.1 km Nevil Hullett Mac Para Magus Straight distance with a paraglider
Class R: Microlights
14 February 2002 187 km/h Julian Harris and
Bob Sharp
Jabiru Aircraft UL 3 axis flight airspeed record.[23]
17 August 2011 130.3 km Edina Sz. KOLESZÁR Dudek Nucleon 23 Distance in a closed circuit with limited fuel


The FAI Gold Air Medal was established in 1924 and was first awarded in 1925. It is reserved for those who have contributed greatly to the development of aeronautics by their activities, work, achievements, initiative or devotion to the cause of Aviation. The FAI has also awarded the Paul Tissandier Diploma since 1952 to those who have served the cause of aviation in general and sporting aviation in particular.[24]

The FAI also makes awards for each of the following air sports.

  • Awards for Ballooning:
  • Awards for General Aviation:
  • Awards for Gliding:
  • Awards for Rotorcraft:
    • The FAI Gold Rotorcraft Medal
  • Awards for Parachuting:
    • The FAI Gold Parachuting Medal
    • The Leonardo da Vinci Parachuting Diploma
    • The Faust Vrancic Medal
  • Awards for Aeromodelling:
    • The FAI Aeromodelling Gold Medal
    • The Andrei Tupolev Aeromodelling Medal
    • The Alphonse Penaud Aeromodelling Diploma
    • The Antonov Aeromodelling Diploma
    • The Andrei Tupolev Aeromodelling Diploma
    • The Frank Ehling Diploma
  • Awards for Aerobatics:
    • The Leon Biancotto Aerobatics Diploma
  • Awards for Astronautics:
    • The Yuri A. Gagarin Gold Medal
    • The V.M. Komarov Diploma
    • The Korolev Diploma
    • The Odyssey Diploma
  • Awards for Hang Gliding:
    • The Pepe Lopes Medal
    • The FAI Hang Gliding Diploma
  • Awards for Microlight Aviation:
  • Awards for Aviation and Space Education:
    • The Nile Gold Medal
  • Awards for Amateur-Built Aircraft:

FAI Young Artists Contest[edit]

The FAI Young Artists Contest[26] is an international painting competition for youngsters between the ages of 6 and 17. Each FAI Member Country organises the contest in their country, and the national winners are submitted to the International Jury each year.


Active members[edit]

Country Member name Year of Affiliation
Albania Federata Shqiptare E Aeronautikes 2000
Argentina Confederacion Argentina De Entidades Aerodeportivas 1910
Australia Australian Sport Aviation Confederation 1948
Austria Österreichischer Aero Club 1910
Azerbaijan Azarbaycan Hava Va Ekstremal Idman Növlaci Federasiyasi 2000
Belarus Belarusian Federation of Air Sports 1994
Belgium Royal Belgian Aero Club 1905
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vazduhoplovni Savez Bosne I Hercegovine 1996
Brazil Comissão de Aerodesporto Brasileira 1919
Bulgaria Bulgarski Natsionalen Aeroklub 1934
Canada Aero Club of Canada 1931
Chile Federacion Aerea De Chile 1921
China Aero Sports Federation of China 1921
Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Aerosports Federation 1990
Colombia Federacion Colombiana De Deportes Aereos "Federaeros" 1951
Croatia Hrvatski Zrakoplovni Savez 1992
Cuba Aviation Club of Cuba 1927
Cyprus Kypriaki Aerathlitiki Omospondia 1961
Czech Republic Aeroklub České Republiky 1920
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Central Aeronautic Association of D.P.R. Korea 1959
Denmark Kongelig Dansk Aeroklub 1909
Ecuador Club De Aeromodelismo Quito 1953
Egypt Aero Club of Egypt 1911
Estonia Eesti Lennuspordi Föderatsioon 1938
Finland Suomen Ilmailuliitto Ry 1921
France Aero Club de France 1905
Germany Deutscher Aero Club e.V. 1905
Greece Elliniki Aerathlitiki Omospondia 1931
Guatemala Asociacion Guatemalteca De Deportes Aereos 1953
Hong Kong Hong Kong Aviation Club Ltd 1977
Hungary Magyar Repülö Szövetség 1910
Iceland Flugmálafélag Íslands 1937
India Aero Club of India 1949
Indonesia Federasi Aero Sport Indonesia 1973
Ireland National Aero Club of Ireland 1946
Islamic Republic of Iran Kanoone Havanavardiye Iran 1964
Israel Aero Club of Israel 1951
Italy Aero Club D'Italia 1905
Japan Nippon Koku Kyokai 1919
Jordan Royal Aerosports Club of Jordan 1980
Kazakhstan Association of Light Aviation of the Republic of Kazakhstan 1994
Kosovo Federata Aeronautike e Kosovës 2015
Kuwait Kuwait Science Club 1972
Latvia Latvijas Aeroklubs 1938
Lebanon Aero Club du Liban 1924
Libya Libyan Airsports Federation 1975
Lithuania Lietuvos Aeroklubas 1931
Luxembourg Federation Aeronautique Luxembourgeoise 1929
Malaysia Persekutuan Sukan Udara Malaysia 1961
Mexico Federacion Mexicana De Aeronautica, A.C. 1931
Moldova Federatia De Parapantism Din Republica Moldova 1997
Monaco Aero Club De Monaco 1947
Mongolia Mongolian Air Sports Federation 2006
Montenegro Vazduhoplovni Savez Crne Gore 1922
Morocco Federation Royale Marocaine De L'Aviation Legere Et Sportive 1952
Mozambique Aeroclube De Mocambique 1986
Nepal Nepal Airsports Association 2002
Netherlands Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging Voor Luchtvaart 1909
New Zealand Royal New Zealand Aero Club Inc. 1952
Norway Norges Luftsportforbund 1909
Pakistan All Pakistan Aero Modelling & Ultralight Asoociation 1955
Peru Federacion Peruana Aerodeportiva 1925
Philippines 3D Air Sports And Hobbies Asoociation, Incorporated 1965
Poland Aeroklub Polski 1920
Portugal Aero Club De Portugal 1913
Qatar Qatar Air Sports Committee 2002
Republic of Korea Daehanmingook Hang Gong Hwe 1959
Romania Federatia Aeronautica Romana 1923
Russia Federatsia Avtsionnogo Sporta Rossii 1909
San Marino Federazione Aeronautica Sammarinese 1971
Saudi Arabia Saudi Aviation Club 1997
Serbia Vazduhoplovni Savez Srbije 1922
Singapore Air Sports Federation of Singapore 1984
Slovakia Slovenský národný aeroklub gen. M.R. Štefánika 1920
Slovenia Letalska Zveza Slovenija 1992
South Africa Aero Club of South Africa 1938
Spain Real FederacIón Aeroáutica Española 1905
Sweden Svenska Flygsportförbundet 1907
Switzerland Aero Club Der Schweiz 1905
Thailand Royal Aeronautics Sports Association of Thailand 1979
The Former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia Vozduhoplovna Federacija Na Makedonija 1993
Turkey Türk Hava Kurumu 1929
Ukraine Federation of Aeronautical Sports of Ukraine 1992
United Arab Emirates Emirates Aviation Association 1980
United Kingdom Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom 1905
United States of America National Aeronautic Association Of The USA 1905
Uzbekistan Texnik Va Amaliy Sport Turlari Markazi 1995
Venezuela Asociacion Venezolana De Los Deportes Aeronauticos (A.V.D.A.) 1952

Associate members[edit]

Country Member Name
Bahrain Royal Bahrain Parachuting Committee
Brazil Confederacão Brasileira de Aeromodelismo
Egypt Egyptian Sport Parachuting And Aeronautics Federation in Parachuting only
Liechtenstein Modellfluggruppe Liechtenstein
Liechtensteinischer Hängegleiter Verband
Mali Fédération Malienne de Sports Air
Oman Oman National Free Fall Team
Panama Asociacion De Paracaidismo Deportivo De Panama
Portugal Federaçâo Portuguesa De Aeromodelismo
Federaçâo Portuguesa De Voo Livre
Qatar Qatar Aeromodelling Racing Team
Romania Federatia Romana De Modelism
Saint-Kitts-and-Nevis St Kitts And Nevis National Parachute Associating
Tunisia Association Tunisienne Des Sports Aeriens
Uruguay Centro Uruguayo De Planeadores

Affiliate members[edit]

Country Member Name
- African Air Sports Federation
- Arab Air Sports Federation
- Asiania
- Colpar
- Europe Airsports
- Segelflugszene GGMBH

Temporary members[edit]

Country Member name
Armenia National Committee of Aeromodelling And Spacemodelling Sports
El Salvador Federacion Salvadoreña De Paracaidismo Y Aerodeportes
Iraq Al- Sokoor Aero Club
Laos Lao Airsports Club
Paraguay Asociacion Paraguaya Paracaidismo Deportivo
Syrian Arab Republic Syrian Parachute Federation
Vietnam Hanoi Air Sports Association

Suspended members[edit]

Country Member Name
Armenia National Committee of Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling Sports
Iraq Al-Sokoor Aero Club
Libya Libyan Airsports Federation
Montenegro Vazduhoplovni Savez Crne Gore
Morocco Fédération Royale Marocaine de l'Aviation Légère et Sportive
Pakistan All Pakistan Aero Modelling & Ultralight Association
Paraguay Asociacion Paraguaya Paracaidismo Deportivo
Uruguay Centro Uruguayo de Planeadores

See also[edit]


External links[edit]