FAI - CIVL - The Plenary - The Bureau - Communication - FAI and CIVL Sporting Code - FAI Events - Category 1 Events - Category 2 Events - Jury and Steward - Accuracy and Aerobatics Judges - WPRS - World Online XC Contest - Records- Badges - IPPI Card - Awards.
Established in 1975, Commission International de Vol Libre (CIVL – Hang Gliding and Paragliding Commission) is an Air Sport Commission (ASC) of the Fédération Internationale Aéronautique (FAI), founded in 1905 in Paris, France, and today based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Alongside our disciplines, FAI structures its activities under eleven other ASCs: Aerobatics, Aeromodeling, Amateur Built and Experimental Aircraft, Astronautic Records, Ballooning, General Aviation, Gliding, Microlight and Paramotors, Parachuting, Motorcraft, General Airsport.
FAI and all ASCs, including CIVL, each have their own dedicated FAI websites.
This document is designed to provide an introduction to CIVL, and supplementary to the official reference documents, including FAI and CIVL Statutes, By-Laws, Internal Regulations, Terms of Reference, Sporting Codes, etc.
The nation members of FAI are represented by their National Air Sport Controls (NAC). Members may be Active, Associate, Temporary or International Affiliate. All members are listed here. Only Active members can vote at the annual General Conference.
Air Sport Commissions also have voting power at the General Conference.
FAI is run by an Executive Board that implements the policies and decisions taken by the General Conference. The Board includes a President, six Executive Directors and one Secretary General (non voting).
FAI Vice-Presidents have specific voting powers on some matters. Are FAI Vice President: the Presidents of Air Sport Commissions and representatives of NACs that are FAI Active members.
Technical commissions have been established to cover cross-commission matters: Aviation and Space Education, Airspace and Navigation Systems, Environmental, Medico-Physiological.
FAI Secretariat is responsible for day to day operation of FAI.
Internal Regulations and Terms of References must not be in conflict with FAI Statutes and By-Laws.
The working language of CIVL is English.
Each nation member of FAI may appoint a Delegate and Alternate Delegate to represent its interests within CIVL. All Delegates are listed here. All Delegates can vote at the annual CIVL Plenary.
CIVL is run on a day to day basis by a Bureau elected by the Plenary. Current Bureau members are listed here.
CIVL has set up Committees, Working Groups and Technical Officers. Committees are permanent and Working Groups can be permanent or temporary. Technical Officers and other representatives are designated by the Bureau. Their Terms of Reference are agreed by the Plenary. All CIVL Officers and officials must have the support of their NACs.
Current Committees are: Aerobatics Competition - Hang Gliding Competition - Paragliding Accuracy Competition - Paragliding Competition.
Current Working Group are: Software (permanent).
Current Technical Officers are: Communication - Competition - Environmental Affairs - Jury and Steward - Record and Badges - Safety - Sporting Code.
Training (to be appointed) - World Games Liaison Officer.
Other temporary appointments are: Pilot Entry Screening Committees.
CIVL Plenary traditionally meets every year in mid-February, either in Lausanne (FAI headquarters) or in any other country whose invitation to host the Plenary has been accepted by the previous Plenary.
A Bureau meeting is set three days before the Plenary (usually Wednesday). Committees and Working Groups meetings are set two days before the Plenary (usually Thursday and Friday). The Plenary is spread over two days (usually Saturday and Sunday).
Subcommittees and Working Groups pre-Plenary meetings are summed-up in reports that are examined and voted on by the Plenary. Plenary minutes and reports (and archives of past Plenaries) are published no later than 45 days after the Plenary.
Every 2 years the Plenary elects a new Bureau. The Bureau includes a President, four Vice Presidents, an Administrative Secretary and a Financial Secretary. It ensures the policies and decisions taken by the Plenary are implemented, and basically runs CIVL on a day to day basis. The Plenary can delegate some responsibilities to the Bureau. The Bureau is empowered to make decisions outside of the Plenary’s delegation, but the next Plenary must ratify these decisions.
The Bureau holds formal physical meetings twice a year. Its first meeting is scheduled in September, October or November. Its second meeting is scheduled just before the Plenary. The date, place and agenda of these meetings are agreed upon between Bureau members. Minutes of Bureau meetings and archives of past Bureau meetings are published here (under “Meetings”).
The Bureau regularly holds informal Skype meeting. The time and agenda of these meetings are agreed upon between Bureau members. The Administrative Secretary reports on these meetings.
Most of the Bureau exchanges and work is done through Basecamp software, a web-based project management and collaboration tool. Besides the functionalities that Basecamp offers, the exchanges and work done can be archived, and therefore used as references for future Bureaux.
FAI / CIVL website is the main method of communicating to the rest of the world. We encourage you to explore its many sections and pages. The current Website Content Officer can be reached here.
Two mailing lists are currently available:
The General Section of FAI Sporting Code deals with matters that are common to all Air Sport Commissions in three major areas:
The General Section chapters:
The General Section is the responsibility of the Air Sport General Commission (CASI).
CIVL, as other Air Sport Commissions is responsible for the specific rules and procedures that applies to its disciplines. These are defined in the different Sections 7 of the FAI Sporting Code:
Our disciplines and competitions are intricate and need precise definitions. Sections 7 try to deal with all subjects and situations. Therefore Sections 7 are sometimes intricate to use: Section 7B for paragliders has more than 1100 sections and sub-sections! To help you work well with it, use the index published in the first pages of the each Section7 (about 270 entries for 7B).
When needed (in fact every year), the CIVL Plenary adjusts its Sections 7 rules. Unless specified otherwise, all new rules are implemented on the 1st of May following the Plenary.
In its General Section, FAI has classified “Events” in 7 groups: National Sporting Events, National Championships, International Sporting Events, Open National Championships, Continental Regional Championships, World Championships and World Air Games.
CIVL deals mainly with Continental and World championships, both classified as Category 1 events, and International sporting events classified as Category 2 events.
World and Continental championships as well as World Air Games are FAI Category 1 events. CIVL Continental and World championships are run in alternate years. Category 1 events are managed according to Sections 7A, B and C, in conjunction with the General Section and Local Regulations.
Organising a Category 1 championships starts with preparing and presenting a bid to CIVL Plenary. The bid must be supported by the bidder’s NAC and by the local authorities. The Orgaizer Agreement must be signed at the time of the presentation of the bid. All bids are examined by the appropriate Committee and then voted by the Plenary. A pre-World or pre-Continental event is organized one year before the World or Continental championship, under rules as close as possible to the championship.
A Guidelines for presentation of bids, a Practical guidelines for organisers of competitions and other documents are available in the Document pages of CIVL website under "Event Organisers". General informations about organising FAI events are also available on CIVL website.
FAI Category 2 Events are… whatever is not Category 1!
CIVL events are managed according to Chapter 4 of Sections 7A, B and C, in conjunction with the General Section. They must follow “as far as appropriate” the rules of Category 1 events and must not conflict with them “in principle”, which leaves enough room to organizers to adjust to their specific needs.
Most documents available to help organizers of Category 1 Events can be used by organizers of Category 2 Events:
The organiser's NAC must approve the event.
Jury and Stewards are the FAI Officials in attendance at Category 1 Events. A CIVL-appointed Steward is present at pre-World or pre-Continental competitions.
The Steward is the neutral and independent element between the organisers and the competitors. The Steward interacts with the meet officials and Jury for the purposes of providing help and guidance, and especially rule interpretations and factors affecting the fairness and safety of the competition. He is a source of technical information concerning the rules and scoring for the meet officials. However, the Steward is not empowered to overrule officials. The Steward reports back after the events to CIVL.
The Jury attends the competition for the sole purpose of observing the conduct of the competition, to ensure the event is run according to the FAI rules. The Jury will rule on protests which may affect the outcome of individual pilot or team scores. This factor will also affect meet officials if re-scoring or rule interpretations are indicated.
Training is provided for Jury and Stewards through seminars organized each year during the CIVL Plenary and by shadowing experienced CIVL Officials at events.
All matters concerning Jury and Stewards are overseen by the Jury & Steward Coordinator, who reports to the CIVL President. The coordinator maintains the database of volunteers and communicates with them about upcombin Category 1 and Test Events. His recommendations are forwarded to the CIVL Bureau for ratification.
Both Paragliding Accuracy and Aerobatic competitions require the presence of judges.
Relevant chapters of Section 7 describe the specific duties and roles of these judging teams. The Paragliding Accuracy and Aerobatic sub-commissions organise training sessions for their judges. Databases of qualified Judges are maintained on the CIVL website.
The World Pilot Ranking System (WPRS) was created in 1998. It aims to rank pilots and nations around the world in a fair manner, so the rankings will show the strength of each, based on the results of Category 1 and 2 competitions in which they have participated. The pilot points are based on the sum of 4 best competitions in the last 3 years with time devaluation.
The original formula for scoring points has evolved throughout the years. Current formulas are shown in the each category page. Former formulas are here.
Today, more than 8 000 pilots from 55 nations are ranked in 8 categories.
Pilots should check that their personal record shows the correct nationality, particularly as there are a few pilots of unknown nationality. Go to the rankings and check that you are there (if you've flown CIVL Category 1 or 2 competitions in the last few years you should be). By going to the Register page (under the Pilots menu) you can update some of your own details. Contact CIVL's Competitions Coordinator, if your nationality is wrong or you can't find yourself (and think you should be there).
The first official World Online XC Contest (WXC) came to a successful close in October 2011 after a two year trial. Some 4663 pilots from 52 nations entered flights via nine separate networked online contests in 12 categories. All winners received FAI Diplomas.
The philosophy of the WXC is to connect current and new online contests into a single network. Pilots use their favourite contest to claim their flights. Without any additional steps, their flights are also claimed in the CIVL WXC contest, along with those from pilots from all over the world.
To attend, pilots need to have a valid FAI/CIVL ID. Pilots who participate in a Category 1 or 2 event since 2001 are automatically in the FAI/CIVL ID base. Other pilots should register through the CIVL website ranking pages. Once identified, each pilot then registers in his home online contest server.
A season runs from October 1st to September 30th. Rules of the WXC evolve based on changes in technology and flying practices. Current rules are published here. All these information, rules, regular news and more are detailed on the WCX website.
FAI is the international authority that oversees and validates all World and Continental record claims. Hang gliding and paragliding have records for the following flights:
Records may be claimed in the following categories:
To be recognised as a new record:
FAI proficiency badges are standards of achievement, which do not require to be renewed. They are intended to provide a graduated scale of difficulty to measure and encourage the development of a pilot's flying skill, particularly in cross-country flying.
The Bronze badge should be achievable by most pilots within the first year of active flying, with the Silver following in the next year or two. The Gold badge should be achievable for most pilots within the first five years of cross country flying. The Diamond badge should be achievable by perhaps half of all pilots within ten years of flying.
Since 2012, Badges for Paragliding Accuracy achievements are also available.
Description, requirements, special conditions and issue of badges are found in chapter 2 of Section 7D.
The IPPI card was introduced in 1992. Since then, national associations and pilots around the world have benefitted from CIVL’s internationally recognised standards: Safe Pro (for hang gliding) and Para Pro (for paragliding). The card provides a standard reference against which all national rating programs may be compared.
CIVL’s pilot rating systems reflect pilot proficiency. For the pilot who flies outside of his known area or travels abroad, it is a simple method of providing proof of flying experience and proficiency. The IPPI card - together with the national rating card - identifies the pilot skills. It gives flying site managers, instructors and others responsible for hang gliding and/or paragliding flight operations a start point towards verifying a pilot’s experience level prior to approval of flight activities.
The IPPI Card is issued by the national hang gliding and paragliding associations. CIVL encourages all pilots to use the IPPI card and all national associations to promote it.
All information concerning the IPPI Card, including samples, application forms, recognition and use are published in the IPPI Card pages of CIVL website.
FAI has established two types of awards:
FAI can also appoint for life Companions of Honour. 33 have been honoured in this way (up to October 2011). Finally, The Prince Alvaro de Orleans Bourbon Grant can be awarded every two years with the goal of supporting research and innovation focused on the advancement of sport aviation and simulated flying.
These awards, Companions and grants are detailed in the Awards pages of FAI website.
CIVL is particularly concerned with two discipline-specific awards:
The Hang Gliding Diploma (24 recipients).
Established by the FAI in 1979, it may be awarded every year to an individual who is considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the development of hang gliding and paragliding by his or her initiative, work or leadership in flight achievement.
The Pepe Lopes Medal (5 recipients).
This Medal was established in 1993 in memory of Pedro Paulo "Pepe" Lopes of Brazil who was the World Hang Gliding Champion in 1981. It may be awarded annually for outstanding contributions to sportsmanship or international understanding in the sport of hang gliding.