Hang Glider

British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

The British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

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 parascending (Courtesy Pete Brunt)

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.

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.

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: 28 November 2023

Purchase the BHPA Pilot Handbook Subscribe Submit an incident report to the BHPA and EHPU The BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide - 8.43mb

Enter the first part of your postcode to find your nearest BHPA recreational club
eg. enter CF44 if your post code is CF44 1BS

Post Code

Enter the first part of your postcode to find your nearest BHPA registered school
eg. enter CF44 if your post code is CF44 1BS

Post Code

Or view
schools location map

The BHPA is a member of the Royal Aero Club The BHPA is a member of the European Hang Gliding & Paragliding Union CAA Drone and Model Aircraft Code Subscribe to GASCO Flight Safety, a monthly safety update on all recreational flying safety matters