A CAP-10 was swiftly moved by night to piazza Castello for the presentation of the World Air Games
In the autumn of 2006, the FAI (International Aeronautical Federation headquartered in Lausanne with membership in 102 countries) requested bids for the “World Air Games” (WAG), to be held in June 2009.
The World Air Games are the most important events in the world for sport aviation, being a sort of “Olympics of the Air”, with races and competitions covering the following 10 disciplines: Aerobatics (powered and glider), Helicopters (turbine and piston), Gliders (Grand Prix), Parachuting (speed, distance, accuracy, canopy piloting), Hang Gliding, Micro lights, Paragliding, Ballooning, Model Aircraft and Experimental (fly-in and home-built).
Considering this as a stimulating challenge, the President of the Turin Aero Club, Angelo Moriondo, set up a “Promotional Committee” which sought out a number of suitable people and found the necessary funds (mainly provided by the Piedmont Region) to formally propose Turin as the organizer of the Games.
Members of the Promotional Committee celebrating the victory. From Left: Paolo Rota, Pier Luigi Duranti,
Patrizia Bugnano (Provincial Assessor for Sport), Eugenio Cuffia, Giuliana Bianco, Silvana Accossato (Mayor of Collegno),
Giuseppe Leoni (president AeCI), Angelo Moriondo (President Promotional Committee), Bruno Rambaudi
Fifteen cities initially proposed themselves as candidates, and Turin passed the first “screening” along with London, Moscow and the Danish city of Odense.
Following a further round of screening, three “finalists” remained – Turin, Moscow and Odense.
On the 1th of June 2007, in the International Olympic Committee Museum in Lausanne, before a packed congress hall, Pierre Portman, the President of the FAI, declared Turin to be the winner and the locations of the World Air Games 2009. It was a tremendous triumph!
The preceding editions of the WAG (1997 and 2001) took place in Turkey and Spain respectively, while the 2005 Games, assigned to Poland, were unfortunately abandoned for organizational and public security reasons.
Paris, August 2007. Signing the Contract for the World Air Games (from Left): Bruno Rambaudi (president of the Organizing Committee), Pierre Portman (president FAI), Max Bishop (Secretary General FAI), Angelo Moriondo (delegate AeCI)
23 october 2007, Turin. Presentation of the World Air Games
Following the constitution of the LOC, a huge amount of work was necessary to create an operational structure and locate the skills necessary to organize an International event like this. Good part of them were found in those who had successfully offered their work in organizing the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
The WAG was formally illustrated to the Mayor of Turin, Sergio Chiamparino, during an official visit by M. Pierre Portman, President of the FAI on the 23rd of October 2007.
On the 19th of April 2008, with a jubilant aeronautical-flavoured street party in Turin’s piazza Castello, the event itself was presented before a large festive crowd as part of the publicity build-up.
To focus the attention of the world’s aeronautical fraternity on the coming event, the Aero Club of Turin, working together with the World Air Games Organising Committee and the Aero Club of Italy, proposed and promoted the candidature of St. Vincent (Aosta) as the site of the 2008 “FAI General Conference” (the previous three had been held in Santiago (Chile), Rhodes and Seul).
This candidature, supported by the Regional authority of the Valle d’Aosta and the Casino of Saint-Vincent won approval, and the Conference took place in the first week of October 2008 at the Grand Hotel Billia in St. Vincent with the participation of delegates from 87 different countries. Following the conclusion of the Conference business, the delegates were brought to Turin to visit the sites proposed for the World Air Games 2009.
October 2008. The delegates to the General Conference of the FAI at Saint-Vincent
Also in 2008, a competition had been set up among the schools in Turin for the design of the World Air Games medals. During the course of the award ceremony held in the council hall in Collegno, the jury, presided by the painter Ugo Nespolo, awarded the prize of 1,000 Euro to Fiodor Fogliato of itis Bodoni.
The Mayor of Turin, Sergio Chiamparino declares the World Air Games open
The inaugural ceremony took place on Saturday 6th of June 2009 in the central square of Turin, piazza San Carlo, where in the presence of all the city officials and a crowd of about 15,000 people Sergio Chiamparino, the Mayor of Turin, officially declared open the “Olympic Games of the Air”, Turin 2009.
The Olympic flame, brought to Italy by the President of the Aero Club of Greece, Mr. Antonis Papadopoulos, was consigned to the final torch-bearer Sergio Dallan, (the world-renowned and number one Italian aerobatic pilot) who lit the Olympic brazier as the Italian anthem was played.
The races saw a truly outstanding performance by the Italian teams, coming top of the medals table with 10 Olympic medals, 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze.
The italian team that was very successful, winning 10 Olimpic medals, the highest score of the Games, as follows:
4 Gold Medals
3 Silver Medals
3 Bronze Medals
Pietro Filippini, glider aerobatics gold medalist a
Medal winners of the Glider GP: Giorgio Galetto (silver)
On Sunday the 14th of June, the WAG came to an end with a huge Air Show. In the course of this, all the medal winners and many of the other participants took the opportunity to demonstrate their skills before some 40,000 spectators, honouring the event which had received much praise for both its organisation and the quality of the sport.
Unveiling ceremony of the commemoration stone dedicated to Manlio Quarantelli before by his family and numerous local dignitaries
The effect of the World Air Games was to galvanise and accelerate a series of important investments, both in terms of economic investments and the equally important promotional aspects.
In October 2008, at the north side of the airfield, at a cost of a little under 300,000 Euro, a new hangar was built and the adjacent single-storey clubhouse-type structure completely refurbished. At the end of the Games, the hangar and the building became the new operational base for the civil sar helicopter.
In April-May 2009, the garden area in front of the Aero Club premises was completely replanted, the parking area, access road and internal roads resurfaced and the Club restaurant enlarged and repainted – all for a sum of around 250,000 Euro.
Then, a few days before the start of the WAG, mainly due to an initiative between Alenia Aeronautica and the City of Collegno, an inauguration ceremony took place at the roundabout adjacent to the airfield.
Here, dedicated to the memory of the test pilot Manlio Quarantelli, the 2nd prototype AMX (002) was erected on a special plinth, with the commemorative stone offered by the Aero Club of Turin. (Quarantelli died in hospital from injuries sustained in heroically crash-landing the first prototype AMX (001) after an engine flame-out, rather than ejecting and letting it crash in Collegno).
The new Quarantelli roundabout in Collegno facing the Turin Aeroclub