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Advice on drafting proposals

Advice on how to avoid common errors when you are drafting proposals to alter S10.

Overview of the FAI Sporting Code

  • FAI Sporting Code Section 10 and its annexes (S10) are the FAI rules for microlights and paramotors.
  • The entire Sporting Code for microlights and paramotors is a combination of the Sporting Code General Section (GS) and S10.
  • The sporting code sometimes contains references to FAI Statutes or Bylaws.
  • Rules in FAI Statutes, Bylaws and the GS take precedence over S10.

When you are drafting a proposal, make sure it does not contradict anything in these superior documents

You can still make such proposals, but any decision by CIMA can only be provisional until such time as there has been an appropriate change in the superior document in question, and that can sometimes take quite a long time:

  • Statutes are managed by the FAI Statutes Working Group and proposals are authorized at annual FAI General Conferences.
  • Bylaws are managed by the FAI Executive Board and proposals are authorized at one of their quarterly meetings.
  • GS is managed by the FAI Air Sport General Commission (CASI) which meets annually just before the FAI General Conference.

Layout of S10

  • Chapters 1 - 5 of S10 are the rules.
  • Annexes to Section 10 are either advice which refers to or relies on the rules, or contain the detail of a rule and/or the way it is implemented.
  • Sometimes superior rules get altered which create inconsistencies or contradictions in S10. Fixes to these must almost always be automatic 'editorial corrections'; if you spot something like this, please make a proposal for it to be fixed.

Common mistakes when making any proposal

  • Make sure it applies to only the thing you intended - it is fairly common for people to forget that S10 includes rules for records and championships in microlights and paramotors. They make a proposal intended to change something for, say, microlights in championships, but because of the way the proposal is drafted or where it is placed, it also affects, say, Paramotors in records which was perhaps unintended and is possibly undesirable.
S10 chapter 1
  • The bulk of this chapter contains the core definitions of microlights and paramotors.
  • Any change here WILL affect Diplomas and badges, Records and Championships.
  • Changes here may affect classes of aircraft other than the kind you intended.
  • For example, if your proposal:
    • Is intended to affect microlights and not paramotors, make sure that is actually the effect of your proposed text.
    • Is directed at just microlights in championships, this chapter is probably not a good place to put it.
S10 chapter 2, Diplomas and badges
  • Changes here will only affect Diplomas and badges
  • Some Diplomas are FAI awards, so the text is just a summary of the text contained in FAI Bylaws, changes must be made in the Bylaws.
S10 chapter 3, Records
  • Changes here will only affect records.
  • The rules here almost always apply to both Microlights and Paramotors.

It is a common mistake for someone to draft a change here for one of them but ignores or has unintended effects on the other. Take care to consider the effects on both.

S10 chapter 4, Championships
  • Changes here will only affect championships.
  • The rules here almost always apply to both Microlight and Paramotor championships.

It is a common mistake for someone to draft a change here for one of them but ignores or has unintended effects on the other. Take care to consider the effects on both.

S10 chapter 5, Control & Measurement
  • Unless stated otherwise, changes here WILL affect Diplomas and badges, Records and Championships.

Take care to consider the effects of your proposal on all of them.

S10 Annex 1
  • This contains:
    • The acceptable way a microlight is proven to be a microlight.
    • The acceptable way speed is corrected to standard conditions.
S10 Annex 2
  • This is a guide on how to bid for championships and how to run them.
  • It is all advice based on how CIMA likes things to be done, or summarises the formal rules contained in the body of S10, or Statutes, Bylaws or GS.
S10 Annex 3
  • This is Model local regulations for championships (LR)
  • It contains an interpretation of rules from S10 combined with operational requirements proven to be reasonably trouble-free in use.
  • It is designed to be used with the model task catalogue (see below).
  • It is in three sections:
    • Section 1: for Microlight and Paramotor championships
    • Section 2: For microlight championships
    • Section 3: For paramotor championships
  • It is intended to be edited before use, for example:
    • The organizer of a championships must insert key information pertaining to the championships; name, contact, officials Etc.
    • The organizer of a microlight championships will only include sections 1 & 2 in his LR.

Common mistakes when proposing permanent changes to Annex 3

  • The proposal is inconsistent with S10 or or Statutes, Bylaws or GS. Most commonly it is a proposal inconsistent with S10. Instead, consider making a proposal to alter the appropriate provision in S10, noting that if accepted, the text in Annex 3 must also be changed.
  • A proposal to alter section 1 intended to make a change for microlights ignores or has unintended effects on paramotors (or vice versa). Consider making the change in sections 1 or 2 instead.
  • A proposal contains a new way of doing things which is incompatible with any of the tasks in the task catalogue (so is actually useless unless combined with further proposals to the TC).
S10 Annex 4
  • This is the Model task catalogue for championships (TC)
  • It is designed for use with the LR, and as with the LR is in three sections, one of which may need to be removed before use.
  • Tasks in it are intended to be well-proven, save to fly, and support what CIMA considers to be desirable qualities of a sporting contest.

Common mistakes when proposing permanent changes to Annex 4

  • The proposal is inconsistent with the LR, for example it defines some operational requirement in a task which is undefined or contrary to what is said in the LR.
  • The infinite cunning of pilots is underestimated. The purpose of a task is quite simple: to get all competitors to do something from which the resulting performance is comparable. If there is some way the intention of a task can be circumvented to the advantage of a pilot, you can be sure this 'hole' will be exploited. Incomparable performances and consequent trouble will result. Good task design considers any and every possible eventuality so things always stay reasonably consistent.
  • Since the basic way many tasks are operated is the same, try to maintain this, it will make for a smoother running task because pilots will not have to learn something new for no particular reason.
  • A proposal to alter section 1 intended to make a change for microlights ignores or has unintended effects on paramotors (or vice versa). Consider making the change in sections 1 or 2 instead.
S10 Annex 5
  • This is notes for competition directors, international officials and official observers.
  • It is all advice based on how CIMA likes things to be done, or summarises the formal rules contained in the body of S10, or Statutes, Bylaws or GS.
S10 Annex 6
  • This is mostly a detailed technical refererence about how flight recorders should be approved and used in records and championships.
  • It is recommended you consult with the Flight Recorder Approval Committee before making proposals.

Advice on preparing your proposals

Make simple proposals

Experience shows that the probability of getting your proposal accepted is inversely proportional to the number of words it contains. The longer your proposal is, the more people are likely to disagree with one or other part of it.

The best advice is: keep your proposal as simple as possible. O course, when dealing with complex matters, complex proposals must be presented. But , instead of creating long ones, try to break them into a number of smaller proposals that can be accepted by more people.

Discuss your proposals

There are many occasions when a good idea hasn't been accepted. If you discuss your proposal with other delegates you can refine your idea and the wording of the proposal and even convince your opponents.

Make your proposal early (do it today) and you will have more opportunities than later.


Added by Richard Meredith-Hardy Last edited by José Luis Esteban on 12 Nov, 2012 14:25. Quick links: http://wiki.fai.org/x/sgLk or Advice on drafting proposals
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