The FAI World Air Games 2022 have been cancelled. The multi air-sports event was due to take place in Turkey in 2022, but funding issues have seen the project consigned to the bin.
In a statement the FAI, the World Air Sports Federation, said they “regretted” the decision and blamed the economic situation in Turkey.
The statement read: “FAI regretfully announces that the 2022 FAI World Air Games, due to take place in Turkey, have been cancelled.
“The Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK), which had been awarded the organisation of the event, asked the FAI to postpone the Games until 2025, due to the current difficult economic situation in Turkey.
“Following this request, the FAI Executive Board, after consultation with the Air Sports Commission Presidents, took the decision to cancel the 2022 Games rather than postponing them. The Board further announced that the Federation will undertake an overall review of the FAI World Air Games concept and format before deciding on any future edition of the Games.”
The FAI World Air Games last took place in Dubai in 2015. Billed as the Olympics of the air, before Dubai the games had only taken place three times before – Turkey in 1997, Spain 2001 and Italy in 2009.
Supposed to happen every four years, the concept was to bring numerous air sports and hundreds of competitors together, to compete in different air sports over two weeks.
However, despite a very successful event in 2015, the World Air Games has struggled to attract sponsorship.
FAI President Bob Henderson said: “This has not been an easy decision to make. However it has been taken with all interests at heart and with a long-term and strategic view.
“The FAI World Air Games is the flagship event of the Federation and, as such, we must make sure that it be held in optimal conditions. The FAI will take this opportunity to discuss internally the future of the Games taking all FAI stakeholders’ best interests in consideration.
“Since the start, the FAI, including the FAI Office and the Sports Commissions, has been working hard on the preparations for the event with our esteemed Member THK. We are grateful to our Turkish friends and thank them for all their efforts.”
Paragliding acro, XC and paramotoring would have been represented at the FAI World Air Games 2022.