The world champion in solo aerobatics an executive director of SIAF

8. March 2017 Aktuality

Firstly he got familiar with aviation days as a pilot, who was twice awarded  Superking Trophy at Fairford, UK, for his solo aerobatics performance. Later he went behind the scenes to see how aviation days are prepared as the head of the organizational committee of the SVK Armed Forces. Gen.Staff Col. Ivan Hůlek (Ret.) has become the executive director of SIAF 2017.

Never you have enough experience

During his military career Ivan Hůlek experienced a rough time of alertness, building air force of newly established Slovakia, membership in Slovak military display team, the American educational system in Kansas, participating in strategic planning at the United States Central Command in Tampa Bay as well as being SACEUR representative, MC at the North Atlantic Council in Brussels. Taking off the uniform after 38 years of service he started enjoying carefree life without nostalgia for flying. But he agreed to direct International Air Fest Days.

“After being addressed by Hubert Štoksa, Director of Slovak Aviation Agency, I had hesitated for a while but then I said to  myself I would try it.  I do not have to, but I want to. I was involved in aviation days as an active participant, later as an organizer from military side and, all in all, I am interested how it works from civilian side. Moreover, I have friendly relationship with many people preparing SIAF“, says Ivan Hůlek.

Organizing SIAF is an extremely complicated matter.

An executive director coordinates, manages and assumes responsibility for preparation and course of aviation days. “To sum up, Hubert as a head of the agency says – “We are going to prepare an aviation day. Here are the people, do it“- Ivan Hůlek simplifies demanding preparation of the biggest public event in Slovakia. Executive staff under his supervision are responsible for a huge number of activities – from partner contracts through invitation of participants, taking over and arrangement of an airport, flying activities, displays, VIP sector  to the tiniest details of the event. “Now, we are waiting the signing of the main documents and confirmations of main participants and working on main variants. Then a preparatory phase will come, mostly processing the documentation and the project, hiring people and their training, crisis management, we are starting negotiations with the Police Force an so on. When everyone is familiar with his task, we will take over areas and start building of the airport site. Finally, we will start preparation of the event itself ,“ explains an executive director of SIAF.

Everything matters

According to Ivan Hůlek, triviality does not exist in aviaton and nor does in preparation of International Aviation Days. Every detail and precision is important. “Safety and  vistors are crucial. We want the satisfaction of people coming here as well as our main customer, i.e Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic. Also visitors´comfort is important because their satisfaction from organization builds our reputation. And it starts with such “details“ as  e.g. a water-drinking routine or an umbrella for a temporary worker responsible for stopping people entering the space for aircraft. Details do not exist. SIAF is an extremely complicated machine but it must work as a Swiss watch,“ emphasizes Ivan Hůlek.

SIAF is a prestigious event with international importance

International Air Fest Days 2017 will be held again at Sliač Airport, which Ivan Hůlek can see from the window of his house. He has his own opinion on local people´s objections to this event: “Every year they complicate preparation of this event. The location of Sliač is convenient for the East and the West. And, in my opinion, SIAF is a really good event. It makes Slovakia visible in the world because more and more interesting participants come to Slovakia. Also the visitor spectrum is not only Slovak, but international one. It is a prestigious event that has made a good name for Slovakia as well as for the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic. This is the reason I want to do my bit.“

Perfect group of people, perfect action

Slovak Aviation Agency is again the umbrella organization for SIAF 2017.“Those people are enthusiastic, willing and eager to work. I know the director and his close colleagues very well. They bring great credit to this event and many of them are determined to work at SIAF without reference to the reaction of their employers. So if these guys are ready to do it, it must be a really good thing. The perfect guys, the perfect action. I think willingnes, effort and good people can arrange a flawless aviation day,“ thinks the newexecutieve director of SIAF changing quiet time out of the army for hectic days of preparation of aviation days. “It will be graduating. Building of the airport will launch work lasting the whole month from the morning to the evening, “assumes Ivan Hůlek. Despite taking  big responsibility he is worrying about his wife. That is to say, every day she will have to walk their dog Bastien instead of him.

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