Situation in Austria

Paragliding and hang gliding in Austria as per 2008-October-27

As most of you probably know there exists a compulsory registration for paragliders and hang gliders by the Austrian Aeroclub (ÖAeC) since this year.
This registration concerns all hang gliders and paragliders, which were certified after February 08 2008.

But before the owner of a para- or hang glider will be able to fly with the blessing of the Austrian Aeroclub, he will have to surmount some bureaucratic hurdles. Probably no owner of a hang glider or paraglider has succeeded in doing this so far.

What effectively has to be done to obtain the registration by the Austrian Aeroclub?

  • The manufacturer of the aircraft must be approved by the Austrian Aeroclub (no manufacturer from outside of Austria has this approval so far).
  • The ÖAeC acknowledged manufacturer must issue a declaration of conformity with the ÖAeC certified specimen (so far no paraglider or hang glider has been certified by the ÖAeC)
  • The owner of the aircraft must then send an application form for "Stückprüfung" (= acknowledgement of the declaration of conformity of the ÖAeC approved manufacturer by the ÖAeC) to the ÖAeC together with the proof of ÖAeC certification and the type specification sheet as well as the evidence of insurance.
  • After all this has been done the owner of the aircraft will receive the ÖAeC certification badge.
  • In case of a due maintenance check the analogue procedure has to be followed by the owner of the aircraft, only the declaration of conformity by the ÖAeC approved manufacturer has to be replaced by a maintenance check protocol by an ÖAeC approved maintenance company.

What would be the consequences for the pilot, if he would fly without this ÖAeC registration, what would happen with insurance coverage?

  • Flying in Austria with a hang glider or paraglider without the respective ÖAeC registration would result in a violation of administrative law, which could be sanctioned as an irregularity.
  • According to various insurance companies, Axa, Parawing, the insurance coverage would not be questioned, as long as the aircraft is an airworthy state. The insurance company Gerling gave the following statement: "Indemnification would only be denied, if the cause of the accident would directly be related to the fact, that the aircraft was in a non-airworthy state. This has not yet occured in the past 20 years."

As a first step the members of the PMA are making all effort to obtain the acknowledgement as ÖAeC approved manufacturing companies. After that they will be entitled to issue and deliver conformity declarations to their customers together with all new gliders. It is intended that the customer will receive all necessary documents for the ÖAeC registration together with his new glider. The owner must then only add his evidence of insurance, sign the application form and send everything to the ÖAeC.

How will the future look like?

  • The PMA and the association of the Austrian flying schools are making all effort to succeed in getting a complete deregulation for all unpowered hang gliding and paragliding in Austria.
  • At November 10 2008 there will be a meeting in the Austrian ministry of transport (BMVIT), in which the complete deregulation for unpowered hang gliding and paragliding in Austria will be decided. It is expected that this decision will be realized in practise before the start of the 2009 season.
  • Compliance with EN-926 or LTF already today is regarded as evidence of airworthiness.

Are there exeptions for foreign pilots flying in Austria?

  • No, a specific regulation or exeption for guest pilots flying in Austria, does not exist.