FAI announced the recipients of the 2022 FAI Awards earlier tonight in a ceremony held online as a video broadcast. The event celebrated the individuals and teams who have made a significant impact upon aeronautics and astronautics and was viewed by air sports community members and enthusiasts from across the globe.

The 2022 award winners represent many nations, many air sports, and many vocations. Included in this year’s prestigious list are accomplished judges, model aircraft builders, skilled pilots, UAV engineers, a publishing house and the first all-civilian crew to go to space.

The award ceremony video, which remains available for the public to watch online at any time, contains the stories of all these people, who have made impressive achievements in air sports or served the progress of aviation through decades of leadership.

FAI’s awards are an annual highlight in the air sports calendar. Recognising the contributions made by members of the community is an integral part of FAI’s work each year.

Faustino Cantos Gracia of Spain has been awarded a FAI Paul Tissandier diploma for his magnificent amateur-built aircraft, which have been displayed at many different events and museums across Spain. He stated:

“Since my beginnings as a young model airplane builder until today, 75 years have passed. Every day I have thought, projected, built, flown and disseminated sports aviation. Thank you, FAI for this Diploma”.

Mike Heuer from the USA is the winner of this year’s FAI Leon Biancotto award, for his contribution to the sport of aerobatics. He was the longest-serving president of the FAI Aerobatics Commission CIVA, with a remarkable 26 years of service, and also served on the FAI Executive Board. Under his leadership, aerobatics in the United States expanded significantly from just a handful of pilots in 1970, to six thousand members at its peak and a packed calendar of competitions, within which he also helped to include World Glider and Advanced Championships. He commented:

“After participating and working in sport aerobatics for over 50 years, I can say that it is the highest honour to be recognised by one’s colleagues and peers.”

Jan Kotuha from Slovakia has two Aeromodelling Diplomas – the Alphonse Penaud and the Andrei Tupelov. They were awarded for his significant achievements as a competitor as well as his commitment to advancing the sport of space modelling through his technical innovations. He thanked others for their guidance in his career, commenting:

“I really appreciate this FAI award, which also belongs to my family, friends and everyone who supported me in space modelling.”

The annual FAI Awards takes place during the annual General Conference, which this year is taking place online between 1-3 November.

General awards

FAI Silver Medal
Alvaro DE ORLEANS-BORBON (Spain)

FAI Bronze Medal
Marylou LAUGHLIN (United States of America)

Sabiha Gökcen Medal
Euhee LEE (Korea)

De La Vaulx Medal
Airbus Zephyr Programme (USA)

Louis Blériot Medal
Klaus Ohlmann (Germany)

FAI Group Diplomas of Honour
GFA Training Program Steering Group (Australia)
Aeroklub Brno – Slatina (Czech Republic)
Omilos Aeromonteliston Melissochoriou (Greece)
Editorial Perfils – Revista Parapente – Vuelo Libre (Spain)

Paul Tissandier Diplomas
Beryl HARTLEY (Australia)
Arnold HOHENEGGER (Austria)
Margit NANCE (Canada)
Karel MARIK (Czech Republic)
Martin REZEK (Czech Republic)
Xavier BONET DALMAU (Spain)
Faustino CANTOS GRACIA (Spain)
Henri CORDEROY DU TIERS (France)
Gyula KISS (Hungary)
Peter SZABO (Hungary)
Norihiro GOTO (Japan)
Pierre KLEIN (Luxemburg)
Tim BROMHEAD (New Zealand)
Mark WOODHOUSE (New Zealand)
Krzysztof WIECZOREK (Poland)
George ROTARU (Romania)
Srdjan SRDIC (Serbia)
Anton LANDOLT (Switzerland)
Rudolf SCHAUB (Switzerland)
Eduard INAEBNIT (Switzerland)
Rob HUGHES (United Kingdom)
Howard TORODE (United Kingdom)

Awards for individual disciplines

Montgolfier Ballooning Diplomas, Best Performance, Gas Ballooning
Eric DECELLIÈRES and Benoît HAVRET (France)

Montgolfier Ballooning Diplomas, Best Performance, Hot Air Ballooning
David SPILDOOREN (Belgium)

Montgolfier Ballooning Diplomas, Major Contribution to the Development of the Sport of Ballooning
Garry A. LOCKYER (Canada)

Leonardo Da Vinci Parachuting Diploma
Brian PANGBURN (USA)

FAI Aeromodelling Gold Medal
Marek DOMINIAK (Poland)

Andrei Tupolev Aeromodelling Medal
Michal ZITNAN (Slovakia)

Andrei Tupolev Aeromodelling Diploma
Jan KOTUHA (Slovakia)

Alphonse Penaud Aeromodelling Diploma
Jan KOTUHA (Slovakia)

Antonov Aeromodelling Diploma
Aleksandar STOJANOVIC (Serbia)

Frank Ehling Diploma
Vladimir SVEC (Slovakia)

Pelagia Majewska Gliding Medal
Marina VIGORITO (Italy)

Ann Welch Diploma, Microlight
Krisztian DOLHAI (Hungary)

Ann Welch Diploma, Paramotor
Daniel TYDECKS (Germany)

FAI Gold Rotorcraft Medal
Michael SCHAUFF (Germany)

Leon Biancotto Aerobatics Diploma
Mike HEUER (USA)

Vladimir Komarov Diploma
Inspiration 4 (USA)

Yuri A. Gagarin Gold Medal
Crew of Space DM-2 (NASA/Douglas G. Hurley and NASA/Robert L. Behnken) (USA)