Decisions in Amsterdam

The October 2009 CIVL Bureau Meeting took place last week in Amsterdam. Decisions made in the four day meeting include: selection of Jury and Stewards for next year’s Category 1 championships and test events; mandating that pilots in FAI Category 1 events and test events wear helmets complying with EN966; modifying the approval process for Local Regulations to ensure entry information is published as early as possible; and incorporating the Altitude Verification procedures used in the HG Worlds in Laragne, in the LRs of 2010 Cat 1 events. In welcoming us to his home town, Flip Koetsier, CIVL President since 2005, informed us that for personal reasons, he will not accept nomination next year as president for a 6th term. To see the minutes: http://www.fai.org/hang_gliding/meetings/bureau Competition safety record improving After three World Championships, the World Air Games and six Test Events so far this year, the Bureau knew it was going to be busy reviewing the reports from Stewards and Juries. Happily, the HG Worlds in Laragne, France and the PG Accuracy Worlds in Croatia were both run successfully, with no serious accidents at either event. This was in stark contrast with the PG World Championships which took place in Mexico just prior to the Plenary in February. The Test Events this year were also completed safely, although the number of incidents reported from the PG pre-Asians in Japan is causing some concern. The Stewards further reported that the HG pre-Europeans in Ager, Spain, and the test events at Tegelberg, Germany for next year’s Women’s Worlds and HG Class 2 & 5 Worlds, did not meet the standards expected for a Cat 1 event. The organisers have some work to do before next year. Local Regulations approvals pending There was a lengthy discussion about the current procedures for checking and approving Local Regulations for upcoming Cat 1 competitions. Our rules state that the LRs should be submitted to CIVL 8 months before the event and published 5 months before. For competitions that take place within 5 months of the Plenary, the LRs are approved by the CIVL Bureau, then ratified at the Plenary. The problem is that very few LRs are submitted 8 months before, thereby reducing the time available for approving them. Currently, the LRs of four out of six of next year’s Cat 1 events require Bureau approval in a relatively short time period. Meanwhile, pilots and team leaders are itching for early information, and organisers are keen to open online registration. For this reason, the Bureau has decided to extract the entry information from the LRs and approve and publish these separately, as close to 8months before the event as possible. The detailed regulations can then be studied, ready for publication to meet the 5 month deadline. In reviewing the entry criteria for the Women’s HG Worlds, the Bureau decided against the organiser’s request to allow teams of six pilots. This issue was discussed at length as recently as 2007, prior to the last Women’s Worlds in Greifenburg. It is felt that a team size of 6 is not encouraging to other nations. Team size will be 4, plus 4 additional pilots from each nation may compete as individuals. Decisions impacting pilots and organisers Two further decisions have been made which will impact Cat 1 competitions and test events from now on. • As suggested by the PG SSC, the Bureau has decided to mandate that all pilots of all disciplines (except for HG Class 2) fly with safety helmets complying with EN966 in all Category 1 and Test Events from 1st January 2010. Organisers and pilots are reminded that Cat 2 events should be run according to Cat 1 rules and not conflict with them in principle. The rule will be added to LRs currently undergoing approval by the Bureau. • The Altitude Verification procedures developed for, and used successfully in the HG Worlds, Laragne, will also be included in the LRs of upcoming Cat 1 competitions and test events. This means that organisers are now able to set competition altitude limits, should they wish to, knowing that there is a workable method of verification. Subcommittee and Working Group reports The Bureau was disappointed that a number of subcommittees and working groups failed to submit interim reports as requested. Some, including Aerobatics and Accuracy, are known to have been active during the year. Aware that all these groups rely on the work of volunteers, the Bureau feels disadvantaged that it cannot report progress, nor can it plan ahead effectively for the Plenary in February. Most disappointing to the Bureau was that following the many safety initiatives introduced at the last Plenary, it is felt that some momentum has been lost. While some important work has been continuing, notably in HG sprog measurements and the design of a PG incident report form, many have not been properly coordinated through the Safety & Training Subcommittee. The Sofware Working Group reported a successful first year’s trial of the World XC Online Contest (WXC). The long awaited databases for Stewards, Jury and Judges is finally underway, and should be ready before the Plenary in February. In addition, full documentation of the GAP formulas plus options available under the FS scoring system, will be completed by February. Agust Gudmundsson, also chair of the Altitude Verification WG, reported that he could not see an immediate outcome on the ‘GPS vs barometric’ altitude discussion, and that the group is continuing its discussions and maintaining a watching brief on technology developments. It will report more fully at the Plenary in February. Live pilot tracking The discussion is linked to the emergence of live pilot tracking systems, such as DSX Safly, Spot and Leonardo. Competition organisers are keen to use these devices to add media and spectator interest to their events. Agust pointed out that there are several other advantages to their adoption, not only for safety and check in, but also for altitude verification and early scoring of tasks. CIVL is talking to other FAI commissions who are also keen to use these devices. Plenary planning Finally, the Bureau discussed plans for the forthcoming Plenary in Lausanne, 20th to 21st February. CIVL President, Flip Koetsier has already sent out notification to delegates of the deadline of 18th December for proposals to add to the Plenary Agenda. Bids for Category 1 events to be held in 2012 should also be in by the same date. An intention to bid from France for the PG Europeans has already been received. News that bids for the HG Europeans and the Women’s Worlds Class 1, and HG Classes 2 & 5 are being prepared, would also be welcome. More news from the president, Flip Koetsier, and the schedule for subcommittee and working group meetings (18th and 19th February) will be published shortly. The Bureau Meeting Minutes are available at: http://www.fai.org/hang_gliding/meetings/bureau Jury & Steward volunteers and selection for 2010 is available at: http://www.fai.org/hang_gliding/documents/jury_steward_handbook