The Super Paragliding Testival will not go ahead in 2023, organisers have said.
The testival, which last year saw its 12th edition and 5,000 flights over three days, is usually held in Kössen, Austria in early June.
However, this year a mix of bureaucracy, staff shortages and insurance issues led organiser Sepp Himberger to cancel the event well ahead of time.
In an email sent to those involved he outlined his reasons, which included reaching “the limits of our organisational capacity” and “stricter criteria” for organising events in Austria.
He also cited uncertainty around aviation law as Austria’s aviation authority has said that the rental of demo paragliders is not exempt from official regulation under the Austrian Aviation Act. Sepp said: “Such permissions would [create] many bureaucratic steps and create new liability burdens for exhibitors and organisers in a future event.”
That particular claim brought swift responses from both the Stubai Cup – also a testival held in Austria – and the Austrian Aero Club. German blogger Lu-Glidz reported that the Stubai Cup said it was definitely going ahead and the Austrian Aero Club said that demo paragliders at testivals are “borrowed” not “rented” and therefore the rule does not apply.
Sepp added that “last but not least” the event’s funding request for post-Covid re-start funding was “simply rejected” by the State of Tyrol. “Only the thankful regional support from the municipality of Kössen and the Kaiserwinkl tourism board, as well as an AXA sponsorship have made it possible to run last year’s Testival also as a ‘low budget event’ for the paragliding industry.”
The result, he said, was that “considering all current uncertainties of legal, organisational, and budgetary nature have brought us to reach the decision, not to organise a Super Paragliding Testival in 2023.”
He added, “We will work on the matter during the year and maybe we find a solution for the future.”