British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

European Rules of the Air

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The BHPA is a member of the The Royal Aero Club
The BHPA is a member of The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom

The BHPA is a member of the European Hang Gliding & Paragliding Union
The BHPA is a member of The European Hang Gliding & Paragliding Union

Eurocontrol, the "European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation", is currently consulting on its proposed Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA). Once established, these rules will affect all airsports from 2012.

ICAO currently provides the international standard for Rules of the Air. SERA seeks to unify rules of the air across Europe by cancelling all agreed national variations from current ICAO standards.

This will sweep away years of appropriate and sensible national modifications to the ICAO Rules of the Air, for example the various exemptions currently built into the UK ANO for hang gliding and paragliding.

The current SERA proposals consequently pose a very real and serious threat to all airsports, including Hang gliding and paragliding.

Whilst the aim of having one single set of Rules of the Air across Europe may at first glance seem attractive, it is clear that the needs of airsports in general, and hang gliding and paragliding in particular, have not been taken into account when drafting the current proposals.

Indeed the following statement has been published on the Eurocontrol website;
"Our primary objective is the development of a seamless, pan-European air traffic management (ATM) system. We contribute to making European aviation safer, performance-driven and environmentally sustainable".

So it would appear that Eurocontrol only exists to meet the needs of the Commercial Air Transport industry, and the needs of hang gliding and paragliding will not be considered unless we tell Eurocontrol what needs to be included or changed in their current proposal.

Martin Heywood, the BHPA Chairman, has therefore written an open letter to all BHPA members asking them to individually respond to this consulation to ensure that Eurocontrol are made fully aware of the depth of concern over their current proposals, and the threat they pose to our sport. Details of how you can respond to this proposal in the Chairman's letter.

An early draft of the detailed response the BHPA will be making to the proposed Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) is also available, and may be helpul when drafting your own response.

Unfortunately the consultation period is very short, and all responses must be received by Eurocontrol by 12th April 2010. So don't delay, please act now.

Page last updated: 07 June 2019