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Hang Gliding and Paragliding: EU Action

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment he has made of the possible effects on the sports of hang gliding and paragliding of proposals in the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation consultation on the draft Standardised European Rules of the Air; and if he will meet the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association to discuss the proposals. (325387)

Eurocontrol is preparing the draft implementing rule on Standardised European Rules of the Air on behalf of the European Commission under the umbrella of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative.

The preliminary view of the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is that the proposals will not impact adversely on hang gliding and paragliding activities as the CAA, as the Competent Authority for the purposes of the legislation, will retain the discretion to permit visual flight rule flights. However, the UK will continue to seek clarity from Eurocontrol on the intent of the element of the regulation which concerns the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA).

The Department has set up a UK European Air Traffic Management Stakeholders Forum, as a requirement of the SES legislation, at which policy officials directly concerned in this work update aviation stakeholders across the board on SES proposals and elicit views. The BHPA is on the invitee list for the Forum which will next be convened in late spring. In the meantime, Eurocontrol’s consultation is still open till 12 April for the BHPA to express its concerns directly to the Agency.