Venue Information - Marco Fidel Suarez Air Base
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Marco Fidel Suárez Air Base

The Marco Fidel Suárez Air Base, national and international insignia of Cali, belongs to Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (Colombian Air Force), well known as FAC. It is the headquarter for the Escuela Militar de Aviación (Military Aviation School), best known in Spanish by its abbreviation, EMAVI. The FAC was born during the presidency of Marco Fidel Suarez, who managed with his French counterpart (Alexander Millerand) to send French veteran military pilots, survivors of the I World War, to organize the Colombian Air Force.

The FAC is responsible of executing and maintaining the control of Colombia’s airspace to defend the sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the constitution.

In the beginning, the first military aircraft were composed of six Trainer MK-1, four Fledglin J-2, two Fairchil 22-C7 and one Wild X, every plane for primary, basic and advanced training.

The Military Aviation School (EMAVI) taught its first class in 1921 in Flandes (Tolima Department), its headquarters at that time. Among its nine first students was Major Felix Castillo, who became the first Colombian to fly alone.

On the 21st of September 1933, EMVI was moved to the Guatavito farm in Cali, where it has continuously operated with success. The welcoming city has seen 80 generations of graduates with majors in Navigation, Maintenance, Supplies, Air Force Pilot, Communications, Security and Defense of Military Base and, last but not least, Air Arming and Defense.

In January 1997, the first female students joined the institution; they were able to study all the specialties except Security and Defense of Military Bases. In December of 2000, the first Colombian female pilots obtained their major from the FAC and have had the best opportunities for developing their careers.

On the 29th of September 2006, during the 73th celebration of the Military Aviation School, the firm Boreal Veritas awarded the institution with the ISO 9001 version 2000 certification, which corresponds to the quality management system, and it allows the FAC to be recognized as a world-class organization.  

Through the agreement 232 of 2007, the Special Protection Plan for the Urban-Architectural Heritage was adopted in order to preserve six old infrastructures located in the institute and announce them as Architectural and Urban Heritage of Cali. The buildings are a huge part of the Colombian history.

In June 2008, Aviation Management program received the official notification announcing that EMAVI had been granted in High Quality Accreditation by the National Ministry of Education.

Its prestige has crossed borders: pilot cadets from Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Dominican Republic, among others, have graduated from this school.

The Marco Fidel Suárez Military Aviation School will host the best paragliders and parachutes for The World Games 2013.