Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

The Fédération aéronautique internationale (French: [fedeʁɑsjɔ̃ aeʁɔnotik ɛ̃tɛʁnasjɔnal]; FAI; English: World Air Sports Federation) is the world governing body for air sports, and also stewards definitions regarding human spaceflight. It was founded on 14 October 1905, and is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.[3] It maintains world records for aeronautical activities, including ballooning, aeromodeling, and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), as well as flights into space.

World Air Sports Federation
Fédération aéronautique internationale
FormationOctober 14, 1905 (1905-10-14)
TypeSports organisation
David Monks[1]
Secretary General
Markus Haggeney[2]


The FAI was founded at a conference held in Paris 12–14 October 1905, which was organized 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 Luftschiffer Verband aka "German Airship League", founded 1902), 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).

On 2 February 2017 the FAI announced its new strategic partnership with international asset management firm Noosphere Ventures. FAI Secretary General Susanne Schödel, FAI President Frits Brink and Noosphere Ventures Managing Partner Max Polyakov signed the agreement, making Noosphere Ventures FAI's Global Technical Partner.[5][6]

The FAI suspended Russia and Belarus due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, as a result of which pilots from Russia and Belarus will not be able to compete in any FAI-sanctioned event in the 13 FAI air sports disciplines, including paragliding, hang gliding. and paramotoring.[7]


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

  • Aerobatics through the FAI Aerobatics Commission (Commission Internationale de Voltige Aérienne – CIVA)[8]
  • Aeromodeling and drones through the FAI Aeromodelling Commission (Commission Internationale d'Aéro-Modélisme – CIAM)[9]
  • Ballooning through the FAI Ballooning Commission (Commission Internationale de l'Aérostation – CIA)[10]
  • General aviation through the FAI General Aviation Commission (General Aviation Commission – GAC)[11]
  • Gliding through the FAI Gliding Commission (International Gliding Commission – IGC)[12]
  • Hang gliding & Paragliding through the FAI Hang Gliding & Paragliding Commission (Commission Internationale de Vol Libre – CIVL)[13]
  • Human-powered aircraft through the FAI Amateur-Built and Experimental Aircraft Commission (Commission Internationale des Aéronefs de Construction Amateur – CIACA)[14]
  • Microlighting and Paramotoring through the FAI Microlight & Paramotor Commission (Commission Internationale de Microaviation – CIMA)[15]
  • Skydiving through the FAI International Skydiving Commission[16]
  • Rotorcraft through the FAI Rotorcraft Commission (Commission Internationale de giraviation – CIG)[17]

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.

The FAI organises the FAI International Drones Conference and Expo. This event offers a platform for organisations, businesses and individuals to discuss how drones are used today and to create a framework for how they will be used and impact on life in the future.

The FAI also keeps records set in human spaceflight, through the FAI Astronautic Records Commission (International Astronautic Records Commission – ICARE)[18]

Karman Line definition

The FAI defines the limit between Earth's atmosphere and outer space, the so-called Karman Line, as the altitude of 100 kilometres (62 miles; 330,000 feet) above Earth's sea level.[19]


1971 USSR commemorative stamp depicting the 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.[20]


Record flight diploma issued by the FAI

The following types of craft have records:[21]

Selected records

Date Measurement Person Aircraft Type Ref(s)
Class A: Free balloons
31 January 2015 160 hours 34 minutes.  Troy Bradley (United States)
 Leonid Tyukhtyaev (Russia)
Two Eagles Balloon Duration [23]
31 March 1999 40,814 km.  Bertrand Piccard (Switzerland)
 Brian Jones (Great Britain)
Breitling Orbiter Distance [24]
4 May 1961 34,668 meters  Malcolm Ross (United States)
 Victor Prather (United States)
Winzen Absolute altitude
Class C: Aeroplanes
11 February 2006 41,467.53 km  Steve Fossett (United States) Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer Flight distance record (without refueling)
28 July 1976 3,529.56 km/h  Eldon W. Joersz (United States) Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Flight airspeed record
31 August 1977 37,650 m  Aleksandr Vasilyevich Fedotov (Soviet Union) MiG E-266M Flight altitude record
22 October 1938 17,083 m  Mario Pezzi (Italy) 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 (Switzerland) Solar Impulse (Prototype) Solar powered Duration and Flight altitude record [25]
25 May 2012 1116 km  André Borschberg (Switzerland) Solar Impulse (Prototype) Solar powered Distance
Class D: Gliders & motorgliders
3 September 2017 15,902 m  Jim Payne (United States)
 Morgan Sandercock (Australia)
Windward Performance Perlan II Gliding Altitude [26]
2 September 2018 23,202 m  Tim Gardner (United States)
 Jim Payne (United States)
Windward Performance Perlan II Gliding Altitude (to be ratified) [26]
21 January 2003 3,008.8 km  Klaus Ohlmann (Germany)
 Karl Rabeder (Austria)
Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4 Gliding Distance
Class E-1: Helicopters
11 August 1986 400.87 km/h  John Trevor Egginton (Great Britain) Westland Lynx G-LYNX (modified) Speed over a straight 15/25 km course [27]
Class G-2: Parachuting performance records
14 October 2012 1357.6 km/h  Felix Baumgartner (Austria) Red Bull Stratos Vertical speed [28]
8 February 2006 400 Skydivers World Team 5 Lockheed C-130 Largest Skydiving Formation [29]
Class I-C: Humanpowered aeroplane
23 April 1988 115.11 km
3h 54mn 59s
 Kanellos Kanellopoulos (Greece) MIT Daedalus 88 Human powered Distance and Duration [30][31]
2 October 1985 44.32 km/h  Holger Rochelt (West Germany) Musculair II Speed over a closed circuit [32]
Class I-E: Humanpowered rotorcraft
25 September 2013 1min 37.5 sec  Justin Mauch (United States) Gamera Duration [33]
Class O: Hang Gliding & Paragliding
13 October 2016 564.3.0 km  Donizete Baldessar Lemos (Brazil)
 Rafael Monteiro Saladini (Brazil)
 Samuel Nascimento (Brazil)
Ozone Enzo 2
Ozone Enzo 2
Gin Boomerang 10
Straight distance with a paraglider [34][35][36][37][38]
Class R: Microlights
14 February 2002 187 km/h  Julian Harris (Great Britain)
 Bob Sharp (Great Britain)
Jabiru Aircraft UL 3 axis flight airspeed record [39]
17 August 2011 130.3 km  Edina Sz. KOLESZÁR (Hungary) Dudek Nucleon 23 Distance in a closed circuit with limited fuel [40]
Class U: Unmanned aerial vehicles
14 August 2001 96,863 feet (29,524 m)  Piloted remotely by Greg Kendall (United States) AeroVironment Helios Prototype Sustained horizontal flight altitude record by a winged aircraft [41][42]


Diplome Paul Tissandier

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.[20]

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

  • Awards for Ballooning:
  • Awards for General Aviation:
  • Awards for Gliding:
    • The Lilienthal Gliding Medal
    • The Pelagia Majewska Gliding Medal
    • The Pirat Gehriger Diploma
  • 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:
    • The Colibri Diploma
    • The Ann Welch Diploma
  • Awards for Aviation and Space Education:
    • The Nile Gold Medal
  • Awards for Amateur-Built Aircraft:
    • The Phoenix Diploma
    • The Phoenix Group Diploma
    • The Henri Mignet Diploma[20]

FAI Young Artists Contest

The FAI Young Artists Contest[43] 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

Country Member name Year of Affiliation
Albania Federata Shqiptare e Aeronautikës 2000
Algeria Federation Algérienne Des Sports Aériens
Argentina Confederacion Argentina De Entidades Aerodeportivas 1910
Australia Australian Sport Aviation Confederation 1948
Austria Österreichischer Aero Club 1910
Azerbaijan Azərbaycan Hava və Ekstremal İdman Növləri Federasiyası 2000
Belarus Belarusian Federation of Air Sports (suspended) 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
Denmark Kongelig Dansk Aeroklub 1909
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- és Légisport 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 2005
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Air Sports Federation 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
Moldova Federatia De Parapantism Din Republica Moldova 1997
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
North Macedonia Vozduhoplovna Federacija Na Makedonija 1993
Norway Norges Luftsportforbund 1909
Pakistan All Pakistan Aero Modelling & Ultralight Association 1955
Philippines 3D Air Sports And Hobbies Association, 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 (suspended) 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
Tunisia Fédération tunisienne d’Aéronautique et d’Aéromodélisme 2015
Turkey Türk Hava Kurumu 1925
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
Vietnam Hanoi Air Sports Association

Associate members

Country Member Name
Egypt Egyptian Sport Parachuting And Aeronautics Federation in Parachuting only
Liechtenstein Modellfluggruppe Liechtenstein
Liechtensteinischer Hängegleiter Verband
Oman Oman National Free Fall Team
Paraguay Asociacion Paraguaya Paracaidismo Deportivo
Portugal Federaçâo Portuguesa De Aeromodelismo
Federaçâo Portuguesa De Voo Livre
Qatar Qatar Rc Sport Center
Romania Federatia Romana De Modelism
Uruguay Asociacion Uruguaya De Parapente

Affiliate members

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

Temporary members

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

Country Member Name
Botswana Parachute Association Of Botswana
Ecuador Club De Aeromodelismo Quito
Iraq Iraqi Aero Federation
Mexico Federacion Mexicana De Aeronautica, A.C.
Monaco Aero Club De Monaco
Palestine Palestine Air Sports Federation
Peru Federacion Peruana Aerodeportiva

See also


  1. "Presidents". FAI. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  2. "FAI Office". FAI. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  3. "History". FAI - Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  4. "The Postal History of ICAO". Icao.int. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  5. "FAI names Noosphere Ventures as its new Global Technical Partner". www.fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  6. "Noosphere Ventures to Bring Next Big Thing to Air Sports". noosphereventures.com. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  7. FAI SUSPEND RUSSIA AND BELARUS TUESDAY 1 MARCH, 2022 xcmag.com, accessed 19 April 2022
  8. "FAI Aerobatics Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  9. "FAI Aeromodelling Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  10. "FAI Ballooning Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  11. "FAI General Aviation Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  12. "FAI Gliding Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  13. "FAI Hang Gliding & Paragliding Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  14. "FAI Amateur-Built and Experimental Aircraft Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  15. "FAI Microlight & Paramotor Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  16. "FAI Skydiving Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  17. "FAI Rotorcraft Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  18. "FAI Astronautic Records Commission". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  19. Dr. S. Sanz Fernández de Córdoba (24 June 2004). "The 100 km Boundary for Astronautics". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  20. "Awards". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  21. "FAI records". Fai.org. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  22. F5 – Electric Flight, FAI Aeromodelling Commission, retrieved 17 February 2022.
  23. "FAI Record File (troy-bradley)". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  24. "FAI Record File (bertrand-piccard)". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  25. "The FAI ratifies Solar Impulse's World Records". Fai.org. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  26. "Perlan Project". perlanproject.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  27. "FAI Record File (john-trevor-egginton)". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  28. "FAI Record File (felix-baumgartner)". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  29. "FAI Record File (Class G (Parachuting))". Fai.org. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  30. "Kanellos Kanellopoulos (GRE) (384) | World Air Sports Federation". Fai.org. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  31. "Kanellos Kanellopoulos (GRE) (385) | World Air Sports Federation". Fai.org. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  32. "Holger Rochelt (FRG) (389) | World Air Sports Federation". Fai.org. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  33. "Justin Mauch (USA) (16930) | World Air Sports Federation". Fai.org. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  34. "FAI Record ID #18027". 1 March 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  35. "Flight detail Donizete Lemos". 13 October 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  36. "FAI Record ID #18028". 1 March 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  37. "Flight detail Rafael Saladini". 13 October 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  38. "FAI Record ID #18029". 1 March 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  39. "FAI Record File (brooke-knapp)". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  40. "Edina Sz. Koleszár (HUN) (16294)". www.fai.org. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  41. "Greg Kendall (USA) (18685)". www.fai.org. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  42. Gibbs, Yvonne (13 August 2015). "NASA Dryden Fact Sheet - Helios Prototype". NASA. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  43. "FAI Young Artists Contest". Fai.org. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
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