British Gliding Association

The British Gliding Association (BGA) is the governing body for the sport of gliding in the UK and exists to meet the needs and protect the interests of the 9,000 or so regular glider pilots in the UK and to provide the right environment for the sport to flourish.

People from a wide variety of backgrounds and with widely differing aspirations participate in gliding. For some, gliding is a relaxing hobby, which enables them to explore the skies. For others, there is the challenge of pushing their personal boundaries to fly further, faster or higher. In 2010, the first ever 2000km flight by a British pilot was recorded. Heights of over 20,000ft are regularly recorded in the UK and modern high performance sailplanes are capable of speeds approaching 300kmph.

In the UK, over 500 pilots each year take part in the cut and thrust of competition gliding, from regional through to international level events. Our international team is consistently ranked amongst the top three in the FAI world rankings.

Gliding clubs range from small, member-run clubs, often only open at weekends through to large professionally run organisations. All clubs, however, will welcome the new or aspiring pilot. With a few exceptions, all instruction is provided free of charge by BGA-qualified instructors – the pupil pays just for the hire of the glider and their launch. As they don’t have an engine, gliders do need a bit of help to manoeuvre on the ground and to launch. Club members generally help each other to get airborne and this adds to the very sociable atmosphere found at clubs.

While the sport is healthy, the BGA recognises the need to attract and develop new blood. The last year has seen a dramatic growth in the number of BGA junior gliding centres. There are now 23 of these, spread throughout the UK from the Moray coast to Devon, offering specialist support to the younger pilot or prospective pilot.

Legislative issues continue to absorb a great deal of effort as the BGA seeks to achieve sensible, proportionate outcomes to proposed changes to the rules governing pilot licensing and flight operations.

Gliding is one of the more financially accessible forms of airsports and the BGA’s efforts to achieve proportionate regulation is driven by a desire to keep the sport open to as many people as possible. As well as financial accessibility, gliding is a genuinely inclusive sport, attracting people from all walks of life and ages. It is one of the few sports in which women can compete on an equal basis with men..

With the necessary effort being expended on regulatory matters, it would be easy to lose focus on sustaining the environment in which gliding can thrive. The BGA is committed to assisting its member clubs to meet the challenges of the present time so that they can remain healthy and can continue to provide the facilities that current and future glider pilots need to participate in this fantastic sport.

Telephone: 0116 2892956







Latest News


The RAeC Newsletter for Winter 2022 is now available to view HERE

Latest Events