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British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

about us

About the BHPA

In the UK free flight is supported and administered by the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, a thriving sports association catering to around 7,000 pilots.

Paraglider pilot getting ready to take off from Fochriw

From its Leicester headquarters the BHPA oversees pilot and instructor training standards, provides, technical support such as airworthiness standards, runs coaching courses for pilots... and a host of other services, providing the infrastructure within which UK hang gliding and paragliding thrive.

Free Flight

This is a catch-all term that has come to define the closely related sports of:

The BHPA works closely with numerous recreational clubs that look after flying sites and offer guidance and assistance to pilots at a local level.

BHPA Membership

Annual BHPA flying membership costs £169 and includes a subscription to Skywings, the BHPA's monthly magazine, and £5 million 3rd-party insurance cover. But if personal or travel insurance is required, this should be obtained from an independent insurance broker. There are also concessions for those who are 21 and under or 67 and over.

Hang Glider

You can join the BHPA online as an annual member, concessionary member, or family member (living at the same address as an existing annual member), or as a temporary member for 3 months. BHPA members can also renew their membership online.

You can also apply for one-day membership (£29 adult or £5 under 21) when you arrive for your first days training at a BHPA registered school. This class of BHPA membership is ideal if you're looking for a one day taster to see if the sport is for you.

BHPA members automatically receive Skywings magazine each month, as part of their membership package.

But if you're not a BHPA member and would like to receive a copy of Skywings magazine each month, please visit our online shop to purchase a Skywings Magazine Subscription.

Learn to Fly with a BHPA Registered School

If you'd like to take up the sport, please visit our Learn to Fly page to get a better understanding of what's involved and the various disciplines available.

Paramotor (Courtesy Paul Haxby)

Our registered school page will then help you to find a school that best addresses your training needs.

BHPA-Registered Schools will train you at a rate of progress that is suitable for you. BHPA schools are monitored for safety, the quality of the training they offer and the equipment they use, and their trained instructors are licensed by the Association.

When you see the BHPA Registered School mark you can be confident that you are getting the best free flight training available in the world today. For details on finding a training school, learning to fly etc, see our learn to fly page.

Glider Airworthiness

The Association takes great care to ensure that any gliders available to its members are safe to fly. It administers its own hang glider airworthiness scheme, respected the world over, and has contributed to the drafting of EU standards for paraglider airworthiness. These measures have resulted in gliders that are stable in the air and are more than strong enough for their intended use.

The BHPA Office

The centre of the BHPA operation is at Leicester, where our office based staff deal with the day-to-day running of the Association and retailing BHPA merchandise. Our technical staff, however, usually work from home and travel widely, to monitor training standards and attend to other operational requirements.

Calendar of Events

A comprehensive calendar of forthcoming free flight competitions and events throughout the UK and abroad is available on our events page.

If you require further information about paragliding, hang gliding, training, insurance, incidents, international ratings and safety issues in the United Kingdom, please contact the appropriate BHPA Officer or Staff member.

Last updated: 29 May 2024

BHPA Pilot Handbook
Skywings Magazine Online
Download the BHPA Elementary Training Guide
Submit an Incident Report
Information for visiting overseas hang glider and paraglider pilots
Events & Competitions Calendar
Information for UK hang glider and paraglider pilots who want to fly abroad
The BHPA is a members of the Royal Aero Club
The BHPA is a member of the European Hang Gliding and Paragliding Union
The Civil Aviation Authority Drone and Model Aircraft Code
The General Aviation Safety Council Flight Safety Magazine

© British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association 2004 - 2024