The HGFA is administered by a volunteer
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The sport began in Australia in 1963 with delta wing
kites being towed behind speed-boats. Australia was a leader in the
development of the sport internationally. In 1970 the first Australian
Championships were held for towed delta wing kites and around that time
the first foot launched flight occurred in Australia. The Australian
Self Soaring Association (TASSA) was formed by foot-launched pilots in
1974. Tow kiting remained a part of the Australia Water Ski Association
- Kite Flying Division (AWSA-KFD). The first foot launched Australian
Championships were held in 1976 and separate boat-tow launch
championships were held until the early 1980s.
The first world championships (foot launched) were held
in 1975 and Australia won 1 gold medal and 2 bronze medals.
In 1978, TASSA (which was seen in some
States as being a 'New South Wales' organisation), was reorganised to
become a proper national body, with its members being the State
Associations which in some cases, had been formed prior to TASSA.
Also in 1978, in response to Federal
Government insistence on having one body controlling all hang gliding
activities, the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) was
established, having two members – TASSA and AWSA-KFD. By 1979, the name
‘TASSA’ was changed to The Australian Hang Gliding Association(TAHGA).
At this stage, individuals still belonged directly to their State
Association. By about 1980, with boat-towed hang gliding
having virtually disappeared, the AWSA relinquished any involvement
with hang gliding. Subsequently, TAHGA was wound up and its place taken
by HGFA – with State Associations as its members.
In 1991 a new constitution was adopted by
which individual pilots joined HGFA directly.
parachutists began launching from hills in Australia in approximately
1982. Paragliding with purpose built paragliders became
popular in the late 1980s and instruction in paragliding commenced in
around 1989. Weightshift Microlights were developed in the late 1970s.
Each discipline is now represented by the HGFA.
The HGFA is charged with maintaining the regulations of the Civil
Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).