Laws & Rules
The BGA is the national governing body of sport gliding. Gliding takes place under a mix of national, European and self regulation. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is the EU aviation regulator. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the UK aviation safety regulator. The BGA works with the CAA to achieve mutually agreed objectives.
‘Laws and Rules’ details BGA requirements and guidance, which complies with applicable EASA regulations, and signposts to detailed EASA & CAA regulations for those who need more information.
BGA requirements and guidance have been developed in consultation with member clubs over many decades with the aim of meeting the practical needs of gliding clubs and their members. Objectives include clarity, effective risk management, and supporting compliance with applicable EASA and CAA regulation including ‘Rules of the Air’. Please note that the ANO remains an important document, and particularly so while gliding operations remain under national requirements.
The detail within BGA requirements and guidance is regularly reviewed and updates are promulgated through BGA news. All members of BGA clubs are subject to BGA requirements and guidance.
- Operational Regulations
- Managing flying risk
- Accident reporting
- Cross country and airspace
- Examining and assessing pilots and instructors
- Gliding aerobatics badge
- Sporting badges and diplomas
- Gliding certificate and endorsements
- Guidance for SPL and LAPL(S) holders
- Introductory and passenger flying
- Medical requirements
- Rules of the Air
EASA & CAA
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is the EU aviation regulator. The CAA is the UK’s aviation regulator. It is responsible for UK standardisation and compliance of EASA regulations and for developing and compliance of national aviation regulations under the UK Air Navigation Order.
UK Air Navigation Order
The Air Navigation Order (ANO) is an important UK legal document that forms the legal foundation for almost all areas of civil aviation that are still regulated at national level. The ANO 2016 includes the alignment, where desirable, of ANO and EASA regulatory terminology, including the replacement of ‘private’ and ‘aerial work with ‘commercial’ and ‘non commercial’ and detailed minor changes and alleviations including those relating to introductory flights, cost sharing, aerotowing, airworthiness, etc. The Air Navigation Order is available here (recommended CAA guidance on the ANO 2016 is available here)
EASA Regulations – applicability to gliding
EASA regulations are themed, eg airworthiness, maintenance, aircrew, operations, etc. The regulations are detailed in ‘Implementing Rules’ (IR’s) which are supported by ‘Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM).
It can be difficult to extract the elements relevant to gliding. However, BGA requirements aim to be compliant with EASA regulations that are applicable to gliding. And following lobbying by the European Gliding Union (EGU), it is anticipated that by 2019 specific, revised pilot licensing and operations rules for sailplanes will be published by EASA.
Airworthiness and Maintenance.
The EASA regulations for airworthiness and maintenance apply now to those aircraft deemed to be EASA aircraft. Most gliders are categorised as EASA aircraft. The BGA ‘Airworthiness’ requirements above are aligned and compliant with with EASA regulation. More information is available here.
From the 25th August 2016, EASA aeroplanes and TMG’s are required to operate under EASA Non-Commercial Operations rules and are no longer be under the operational requirements of the ANO. EASA sailplanes, including powered sailplanes (ie self-sustaining and self-launching sailplanes) remain under the ANO operational requirements (ie no change) until April 2019. The relevant BGA requirements and guidance continue to apply. More information is available here.
There is no requirement for glider pilots to comply with EASA regulations for pilot licencing until 8 April 2018. The EASA pilot glider licensing regulations are being reviewed and will be republished ahead of 2020. We should expect the 8 April 2018 deadline to be extended to 2020. The relevant BGA requirements and guidance continue to apply. More information is available here.
There is no requirement for glider pilots to comply with EASA regulations for pilot medicals until 8 April 2018. We should expect the 8 April 2018 deadline to be extended to 2020 along with the pilot licensing deadline. The relevant BGA requirements and guidance continue to apply. More information is available here.
Under continued exemption from EASA licensing requirements, there is no requirement for glider pilots (or NPPL pilots) to be trained at a formal training organisation. The requirement is likely to change in due course requiring EASA glider pilot licence training to take place under a declared training organisation. More information is available here.
Rules of the Air
Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) now apply to all aircraft including gliders. Please see BGA ‘Rules of the Air’ above. More information is available here.
- The Skyway Code – a helpful summary of the legal requirements applicable to most general aviation and air sport pilots.
- EASA pilot licence conversion
The BGA publication Trailer Guidance aims to advice owners of the relevant Road Traffic regulations.