The Hang Gliding Federation of Australia Incorporated ("HGFA") is a sporting body that administers Hang Gliding, Paragliding and Weightshift Microlights, under the regulations laid down by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of Australia. The HGFA is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission and is affiliated with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) through the Australian Sport Aviation Confederation (ASAC).
The HGFA currently has approximately 2,500 full members drawn across the three disciplines. About 15 to 20% of those members participate in competition with the remainder involved as recreational participants. Australia currently has approximately 8 world record holders. Australian companies are leading manufacturers of hang gliders and microlights, although there is currently no Australian manufacturer of paragliders.
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.
Soaring 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.
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