The General Conference of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in Sun City, South Africa, October 1995, created an Environmental Commission with the objectives set out in FAI Statutes:
- to evaluate the influence of air sports on the environment;
- to develop an FAI policy aimed at maintaining and improving conditions for the development of air sports while respecting realistically demonstrated environmental interests;
- to advise Council and Air Sport Commissions on environmental matters affecting air sports.
All air sports interact with parts of the environment, considering air, land, sea, water, scenic views, wildlife, vegetation. Each air sport discipline has specific interactions with these parts of the environment.
The development of facilities and the carrying out of air sport activities are to be conducted in a manner that harmonises the interaction between the air sport activities and the environment.
- The FAI wishes to ensure the provision of adequate access to the air for all those who wish to exercise their right to fly and practice air sports, whilst emphasising their duty of care towards nature and the environment.
- Responsibility for impact on the environment starts with the individual but extends to club managements, federations, National Airsport Controls, and organisers of air sports. FAI aims to improve awareness and understanding amongst all these groups, as well as in the general public and regulatory authorities, of the impact of air sports on the environment, and to set this impact in its context.
- Because the air sport community has an intrinsic interest in maintaining and protecting the environment, it accepts its environmental responsibilities and will encourage its members to adopt reasonable, efficient and generally affordable methods of environmental-impact reduction.
- FAI will publish detailed environmental codes of conduct for air sport disciplines (covering e.g. considerate flying, flying site layout and operational procedures, landscaping and habitat, Nature Conservation), and ensure that these are implemented by its member organisations.
- Nothing in the above policies should be allowed to erode aviation safety. For flight safety reasons, FAI seeks to ensure that environmental requirements imposed on aviation should be agreed by aviation regulatory bodies.
The above policy statement was adopted by the FAI in 1997. The Environmental Codes of Conduct for its member organizations have been produced in line with this policy.