About The BGA
The British Gliding Association is the governing body for the sport of gliding in the UK. Our members are the 76 clubs that provide gliding facilities for their members – clubs that are spread throughout the UK from the north of Scotland to the SW tip of England and which range from small, member-run clubs through to some of the largest gliding clubs in the world. We represent all the clubs and their approximately 6000 members, as well as providing services direct to individual owners and pilots.
Our roles are many and varied. We provide advice and assistance to clubs on a wide range of topics, including safety, finance, regulation, operations, and marketing and take a leading role in the development and promotion of gliding, including with young people.
We are committed to safe practices. We provide oversight of a variety of self-regulated activities and where externally regulated, we hold various CAA-issued approvals, for example for pilot training, pilot licensing, and continuing airworthiness management.
We work in close collaboration with the Royal Aero Club (which represents all of UK airsports) and with other pan-sector bodies such as the General Aviation Safety Council and the GA Alliance. Internationally, through the European Gliding Union we partner with Europe Air Sports to protect the rights of the UK glider pilot and, in the wider arena, with the FAI International Gliding Commission.
The BGA is responsible for facilitating gliding competition in the UK and for the British Gliding Team, one of the more successful teams in international gliding competition.
The BGA Vision
Our vision for gliding is an exciting, rewarding and sustainable air sport for all and associated recreational activity facilitated nationwide to a high standard by gliding clubs on airfields whose future is secured, and in partnership with others including non-gliding activity.
To achieve this vision, the BGA aims to provide the membership with leadership and support to achieve:
A gliding operation within a 1-hour drive for 95% of the UK population.
A sustainable gliding club membership.
A demographic profile of membership that converges closely with that of the UK population.
Training and coaching for development seen as a continuum across the full spectrum of gliding activities and experience levels.
Competition and award processes which reflect evolving glider and pilot performance, as well as changing perceptions and measures of achievement.
Healthy and stable supply of instructors, with appropriate qualifications and a balanced age distribution.
An ethos of, and appetite for, volunteering amongst club members.
Awareness that gliding is an equal and responsible aviation and airspace stakeholder.
Maximum autonomy and minimum external regulatory involvement.
Wide public perception of the appeal, the value, and the success of British Gliding.
Some BGA key facts
Formed on 27th March 1930
76 clubs which have as members some 6000 pilots
340 airworthiness inspectors
Around 230,000 flights pa
More than 1.5m kms flown each year
Numerous competitions organised each year
British Gliding Team with multiple recent World and European championship medal successes