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Friday, August 19
Memorial Hans Gutmann Rally 2016 in Georgia.

Memorial Hans Gutmann Rally 2016 is organized in Georgia by an international tour operator Vanilla Sky Georgia and Service Air. 30 pilots with 8 private planes form 8 European countries landed in Natakhtari Airdrome on 9 August 2016.

The memorial rally is an annual event in remembrance of Hans Gutmann, Austrian pilot, flight instructor and rally event organizer who tragically died in 2011. The Rally 2016 is a joint effort of Amiran Manjavidze, a pilot and the owner of Natakhtari Airdrome and his friends from Luxembourg and Russia: Jean Birgen - President of the Memorial Rally, Peter Sodermans – Secretary-General of Rally, Artem Kirillov and Misha Kornev - Project Manager and Rally organizer. Professional and recreational pilots with their families landed in Natakhtari and got acquainted with Georgia through specially designed 5-day tour to Kazbegi, Svaneti and Kakheti.

Memorial Hans Gutmann Rally 2016 is supported by: Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Georgian National Tourism Administration, Georgian Civil Aviation Agency.

David Bakradze- State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Chogovadze – Head of the National Tourism Administration and Guram Jalaghonia – Director of Georgia Civil Aviation Agency welcomed the Rally participants.

The Messenger publishes the comments of Amiran Manjavidze about the event

Natakhtari airdrome is the results of Amiran Manjavidze's dreams come true. It is the culmination of his efforts of 14 years. Since 2013, the airdrome has had a complete infrastructure, including hangars, a runway, and flying navigation services and a control tower. A tourist company, Vanilla Sky Georgia - which is a daughter company of Service Air - runs the unit.

Natakhtari airdrome frequently hosts many important guests and conducts regular flights to Mestia, Batumi and Kutaisi.

Hosting Hans Gutmann Memorial Rally was a great honour for us. Professional pilots from eight European countries with their spouses and children flew by private planes to the Natakhtari airdrome, starting from Luxemburg then traveling through Hungary and Turkey to Georgia.

All this started one year ago, when amateur pilots from Luxemburg - Artem Kirillov, Jean Birgen and Peter Sodermans - visited Vanilla Sky to become acquainted with the Natakhtari Airdrome. Since their departure, Vanilla Sky worked intensively on this project and this is the result. Pilots from Germany, Luxemburg, Russia, Turkey, Lithuania and Poland arrived in Georgia, and as soon as they landed they started discussing future plans for returning to Georgia.

AOPA, an organisation which unites tens of thousands of airplanes’ owners and pilots every year organizes different rallies in various destinations. The arrival of these people in Georgia will open a new segment of the tourist industry in our country.