Overview of activity since the last plenary meeting:
Paramotor competition in the UK is experiencing a growth of interest due to the nature of endurance style competition that we have adopted for national championships. We have increased sponsorship revenues for the championships, assisted by a revised website and stronger digital / social media presence. We have two new committee members, now a very experienced and motivated team with plans to continue this growth and work towards hosting a WPEC – which we had hoped to do in 2024 but we are currently unable to confirm an appropriate airfield.
Rob Hughes (CIMA VP) took over as CEO of the BMAA. Flexwing flying is very popular at the moment from Sub70kg to new 600kg types such as the DeltaJet.
2) Sport in your country in 2022
Competitions this year were:
3 Rounds of National Open Championships for Microlights
1 National Open Championship for Paramotors under the Endurance format.
FAI CIMA records: None
3) Regulatory and legal issues
A trial is being conducted by the BHPA and CAA into allowing tandem paramotor trikes to operate, for instructors only, to enable them to be inside the aircraft on the first occasion that a new pilot is in control. Currently only 1 instructor in the country has been granted this exemption, and the review of this is ongoing.
Since the introduction of 600kg in August 2021 there are now 12 new types or variants in this class which we call light sport microlights (LSM). Also the CAA is undergoing a review of pilot licensing. Their preferred option for the future is a single recreational pilot license which could be converted to a commercial license with few restrictions.
Number of active BHPA pilot (power) licences: 889. Due to deregulation, there are probably more than double this number of paramotor pilots in the UK, but we have no official way to confirm this.
Number of active BMAA members: 4000.
Number of registered BMAA aircraft: 1750.
BMAA issues around 250 licenses each year.
Accident statistics (2020):
1 fatal microlight accident this year.
In paramotors: 1 fatal, 3 serious, 3 minor, 1 no injury. But many are not reported so this figure is probably not representative.
5) Any other comments: none
CIMA - The international Microlight and Paramotor Commission of the FAI