International Aeronautical Conference aaa ° cis o Face FLIERS FLOCK TO CYPRUS Energy Crisis Hits Sporting Flying . The energy crisis has brought a breath of fresh air to motorless flight, and gliding, hang-gliding and ballooning are fast growing in popularity. In contrast, the flying of motor driven sports planes appears to suffer from stagna- tion, mainly as a result of high operational costs and fuel shortages. This was one of the interesting con- clusions reached during the three-day 79th General Confer- ence of the [nterna- tional Aeronautical Federation staged in Nicosia this week. The conference was attended by more than 200 fliers who flocked to Cyprus from 34 different countries scattered around the world. Hospitality After a ceremonial opening at the Nicosia Municipal Theatre last Monday, the delegates met at the Philoxenia Hot- el Conference Hall, to dis- cuss a multitude of matters connected with various facets of sporting aviation. In between confer- ence sessions they at- tended a series of nightly cocktail parties, sampling local hospitality. “The conference was heid in an exceilent spirit of cooperation among the 34 member states attend- ing and we were all de- lighted to have spent same time in Cyprus,”-Mr Bertrand Larcher, the Di- rector General of the FAI told the Cyprus Weekly in an interview. One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of Speciai medals to Maxie Ander- son, the leader of the greatest ballooning expe- dition of all time--last summer's crossing of the Atlantic. * Astonishing Ballooning activities are growing at an aston- ishing rate, Mr Horst Has- sold, Chairman of the Ballooning Committee told the conference. The number of hot- air balloons grew 35% worldwide in 1978, from 1,489 to 2,006, while the number of licensed bal- loon pilots stood at 2,283- an increase of 29% over the previous year Mr Has- sold added. Hang-gliding developed also nas enor- mously throughout the world with the number of particants “well in excess - of 100,000, Mr Larcher said in his report to the conference. The development of hang-gliding was remar- kable, “because this has been a chieved through the self-discipline of groups or federations, where in the majority of cases no licence’ is re- quired,” he added. The 2nd World Hang- Gliding Championship, ‘held at Grenoble, France, last May witnessed more than 3,000 flights without a single mishap, illustra- tion the great improve- ment in the safety Standards of this new Sport. All the same the conference adopted mea- sures for improving these standards further. Ordinary gliding ac- tivities are also increasing steadily, “perhaps due to the increase in the cost of power flying”, Mr Larcher said. The number of glid- er take-offs approaches a million a year throughout the world, and glider flying-hours halt a milli- on, he added. Unprecedented In contrast, the flying of motor driven sports air- craft “appears to suffer from a certain stagnation due to high operational costs, sometimes shortages and, in some countries, steps taken in anti-noise campaigns,” he said. Parachuting has also had an unprzcedented development, Mr Larcher added in his report, parti- cularly in the spectacular free-fall jumping, with as many as 40 enthusiasts now forming patterns ‘in the sky as one group, be- fore pulling their cords to float down to earth. Desmond Kelly FAI President Des- mond Kelly in his opening address to the conference at Nicosia’s Municipal Theatre said the FAI is the oldest international avia- tion’ organisation in the world and will be 75 years old next year. Kelly and other dele- gates praised the zeal and fuel . dedication of the Cyprus Aero Club in organising and acting as hosts to the conference. He con- fessed that like other delegates he knew little about Cyprus, “until the Cyprus Aero Club invited the FAI to haid this con- ference added. in Cyprus” he “The Cyprus ‘ Aero Club proved more than worthy in the arduous task of organising the conéerence - a task that indeed carries a huge re- sponsibility,” Kelly said. The Minister of Agri- culture Mr George Tom- bazos, deputising for the Minister of Communica- oo TRASK SEM tions and Works MrM. Eli- ades, who also addresseq the opening session Praised the FAI for its work which Strengthens international understand- ing, a need greater than ever now, he said. i