British pilot Guy Anderson, left, on the podium at the FAI Paragliding World Championships in 2017. Photo: Marcus King
Comps and Events, News

‘No proposal’ for UK to withdraw from the FAI

Wednesday 11 April, 2018

The UK’s Royal Aero Club has said “there is definitely no proposal” to withdraw from the FAI, following a post on the British Hang and Paragliding Facebook page.

A spokesman for the Royal Aero Club, said: “The RAeC confirms that there is no proposal for the UK to withdraw from the FAI.”

A post on the British Hang and Paragliding Association Facebook page had caused alarm among UK competition pilots when it suggested the Royal Aero Club, which is the umbrella organisation for air sports including hang gliding and paragliding in the UK, was actively discussing pulling out of the FAI.

The FAI is the World Air Sports Federation. Based in Switzerland it sanctions competitions around the world, including European and World Championships. At a minimum, withdrawing from the FAI would exclude British pilots from taking part in these competitions.

The BHPA Facebook post, posted on Tuesday 11 April said: “Royal Aero Club is debating whether to withdraw from FAI on the basis of financial mismanagement and waste of our substantial annual contribution. What are your thoughts?”

Posting below the question Gordon Rigg, one of the UK’s best competition hang glider pilots, said “it would be an absolute disaster”.

Guy Anderson, who won a silver medal at the FAI Paragliding World Championships in Italy last year said: “It seems pretty strange that the RAeC is not consulting members it represents about taking such a fundamental decision that would affect many … Please can we have the facts before a decision is made for us.”

The RAeC said today: “The RAeC confirms that there is no proposal for the UK to withdraw from the FAI.”

The spokesman added: “The RAeC does not generally comment on the social media postings of its member associations. However, we can confirm that the RAeC did meet to discuss its ongoing relationship with the FAI and a range of possible outcomes were debated. However we confirm that there is definitely no proposal to withdraw.”

The FAI has an annual budget of around 1.2m CHF (€1m) a year. Founded in 1905 it sanctions competitions and approves records in many different air sport disciplines, including hang gliding, paramotoring and paragliding. In recent years it has focused time, energy and money on developing multi-discipline air sports events, like the FAI World Air Games held in Dubai in 2015.

The Royal Aero Club paid 44,800 Swiss Francs (£33,800) in subscription fees to the FAI last year. This money is in turn collected from its own member associations. There are 12 full members of the RAeC, covering air sports including micro lighting, gliding, parachuting, ballooning, model flying and hang gliding and paragliding. About half of the annual subscription that each UK Association pays to the RAeC is paid out directly to the FAI.

Never miss an issue

Our subscribers receive 10 issues a year, the annual Travel Guide and exclusive access to competitions and offers

Subscribe today
Back to Comps and Events News
Back to Comps and Events News

Got a story?

If you have news, great images or a story, let us know

Get in touch

Join the family

By subscribing, you support the only worldwide paragliding, paramotoring and hang gliding magazine and you get:

  • Ten issues delivered to your door through the year
  • A 100+ page Travel Guide to the world’s best flying sites delivered with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Plus: Win a paraglider in our annual subscribers’ draw each January
  • Pay annually or monthly with paypal or credit card
Subscribe today

Subscribe and never miss an issue

Print edition

  • Published since 1988
  • The highest production values
  • Gorgeous photography
  • Perfect-bound, collectors’ issues
  • Ten times a year each issue is airmailed to you

Digital edition

  • Read offline on your iPad, tablet, laptop or phone
  • The same content as the printed magazine
  • Delivered through award-winning Zinio software

Print and digital

  • Read the digital issues on your iPad, tablet, laptop or phone
  • Keep the print magazines on your coffee table!
  • Ten times a year, each issue is airmailed to you and sent via Zinio
News and special offers. No spam ever