18 May 2020

CIA Bureau ‘Zooms’ to handle Ballooning Commission Business

The FAI Ballooning Commission (CIA) plenary was scheduled to meet in mid-March 2020, just as the Coronavirus was causing cancellations of airline flights, closing international borders, and making self-quarantine mandatory.  After careful consideration on all fronts, the CIA Bureau announced the cancellation of the 2020 CIA Plenary & Committee meetings.

The business of the CIA Commission still needed to be handled.  And the Bureau quickly established their conference room via ‘Zoom’ to hold virtual business meetings.  And it has been working very well.

Across much of the world, businesses and families used video chat/conferences to stay in touch with colleagues and grandchildren. But suddenly video conferencing became the way of life on all fronts.  As the CIA Secretary shared, “We intended to start (using Zoom) earlier but the COVID plenary cancellation made it necessary (immediately)”.

As soon as the plenary meeting was cancelled, Committee Chairs were advised to submit agenda items that needed action in the short term.  Those items were handled by the Bureau along with keeping all committee membership ‘as is’ for the year.

The CIA Bureau and EDS (Event Development Services) committee are working with Event Organizers regarding upcoming championships.  The question of safely holding an event versus postponing or rescheduling is a serious, difficult decision for organizers, sponsors, officials, competitors, and all participants.  Deadlines for decisions are being set against consistently changing conditions around the world.

The CIA Bureau has established a meeting routine.  They have scheduled virtual meetings every 42-4 weeks, depending on the business needs of the Commission.  CIA leadership is working to keep the Ballooning Commission strong as everyone navigates the day-to-day changes precipitated by the pandemic.

Article by Debbie Spaeth