(Germany hang gliding team in Hay, Australia 2005 - Photo: Didier Mathurin)The rules concerning the right for pilots to change country of representation have been changed at the last FAI General Conference. The “Latest News” we published about it on February 27th seems to have confused some of us pilots. So here are more explanations…
Every pilot entering a FAI sporting event must show his Sporting Licence. In a Category 1 event the country issuing the Licence is considered to be the country that pilot is flying for.
If a pilot wants to fly for another country, he or she will have to be issued a sporting licence by the new NAC but this can only happen after notification to the former NAC and after any previous licence has been withdrawn. If that pilot has already flown in a Category 1 event he or she will also have to observe a two calendar years delay without flying in any Category 1 competition i.e. no competing in Category 1 events during the entire two calendar years (1 January to 31 December) following the calendar year in which the pilot represented the previous country. Only then can the pilot switch his or her allegiance.
In other words this pilot will not be able to participate in another Category 1 competition until two complete calendar years have passed. However he or she can fly in Category 2 competitions during those 2 years.
An example to make this clearer is that if a pilot flew in the 2003 Brasilia HG Worlds for one nation and then changed country the first Category 1 event where that pilot can represent the new country will not be until after the 2004 and 2005 calendar years i.e. no Category 1 meet starting before 1 January 2006.
Anyone requiring further detail about these matters should consult Chapter 8 of the General Section of the FAI Sporting Code.