16 Aug 2005

More on the 3 year rule

A pilot who moves to another country and wants to represent it in any international competition must respect a 3 year delay before he can do it. Or does he? The matter was discussed at length at the last Plenary, a proposition made and followed. Here is where we stand today… Most international Federations have implemented a mandatory international licence for their competitor. FAI has done the same. Category 1 or 2 competitions are truly international when the pilots who participate officially represent their country. To be sure that the participants do represent a country, the FAI entrusts the National Airsport Commissions (NAC) to give to their pilots an international licence called the Sporting Licence. Pilots must show this Licence when they enter a competition. The FAI gives Licences free of charge to the NAC. Each NAC issue the Sporting Licences on proof of identity to those of its individual members who are either citizens or residents of that NAC's country. The precise regulation concerning the Sporting Licence can be found in the General Section of FAI Sporting Code, Chapter 8. THE 3 YEAR RULE Every pilot entering a Category 1 or 2 competition must show his Sporting Licence. The country issuing the Licence is considered to be the country the pilot is flying for. If a pilot wants to fly for another country, he will have to be issued a Sporting Licence by his new NAC only after notification to his former NAC. He will also have to observe a 3 year delay without flying in any Category 1 or 2 competition. Only then he can switch his or her allegiance. This is how CIVL has interpreted so far the 3 year rule: as applying to all Category 1 and 2 competitions. At the last Plenary (Panajachel, Guatemala, February 2005), it was voted that CIVL should propose to the CASI (Commission d'Aéronautique Sportive Internationale, or FAI's Airsport General Commission) that the 3 year rule applies only to Category 1 competition. This was done by our President, Flip Koetsier, last May. This proposal was not handled, for lack of time, and its examination was postponed until FAI General Conference next October in Paris, France. Since then, the Bureau and Hang gliding Subcommittee President have studied the matter further. It seems that CIVL interpretation of the 3 year rule could have been too strict, and that other commissions already make it apply to Category 1 events only. This matter will be studied and interpreted at the next FAI General Conference, as an Appeal is also pending from another sport. Whatever the result of our proposal and of the other sport Appeal, we would like to remind competitors that…

  • A pilot can hold only one Sporting Licence issued by one NAC.
  • A pilot represents the country which has issued the Sporting Licence.
  • A pilot who wants to switch his (her) allegiance to a new country must get a Sporting Licence from this new country.
  • To represent his (her) new country in a Category 1 competition, the pilot must observe a 3 year delay.
  • The counting for the 3 year delay starts from the moment that he/she received the new Sporting License.
  • If the pilot competes in any Category 2 competition with the Sporting License from his old country, the counting starts after that competition.
  • CIVL suggests to people who move to another country and want to represent it to ask for a Sporting License from their new country as soon as possible, and to use only that new License.
  • The 3 year rule applies also to world record attempts.