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Paragliding on Council Reserves

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The sport of hang gliding commenced in the early 1970's and paragliding emerged as a sport in the late 1980's. These activities have occurred at various Council managed reserves across the Local Government Area for more than 25 years, with interest in the sport increasing.

Since launch sites emerged much has changed, including urban development, environmental impact recognition, glider technology, safety requirements, pilot training and increased use of public reserves.

Today, hang gliding and paragliding are considered appropriate recreational activities on various land types, including National Parks, private land, crown land and Council managed areas throughout Australia.

The Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) is the body constituted to administer the sport of hang gliding and paragliding under regulations endorsed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).  The HGFA has the responsibility of setting and applying safety and operating standards applicable to hang gliders, paragliders and weight shift micro lights.

Members of the HGFA are required to report incidents and accidents to the HGFA and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), as detailed within their Operations Manual. These reportable matters are also outlined in the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. Investigations are the responsibility of the ATSB. CASA is notified by the ATSB, in accordance with Memorandum of Understanding between both organisations.

The establishment, control & management of flying sites is the responsibility of the HGFA State and Regional Associations and their affiliated clubs. The affiliated club for the Port Macquarie Hastings area is the Mid North Coast Flyers (MNCF).

Reserve Management

In 2015 Council identified the need to assess the use of these open spaces for flying activities and has worked to ensure legislative and risk management requirements are met, and these are applied in a way that is consistent with other reserve users including sporting and community groups, organisations and commercial operators.   The aim is to ensure a workable framework in which the requirements of land management, sports operation and public safety can be appropriately balanced for the enjoyment of all reserve users.

A paragliding activities trial period was conducted from 1 October 2016 to 30 June 2017. Council’s Temporary Licence Review Panel considered the results of this trial during July 2017 and have agreed to issue 12 month licenses for paragliding activities to Mid North Coast Flyers, Cloudbase Paragliding Australia and High Adventure Paragliding for the following launch sites:

  • Bartlett’s Beach Reserve
  • Grant’s Headland Reserve
  • Harry’s Lookout
  • Oxley Beach Headland
  • Rocky Beach Reserve

Council will continue to work with these organisations to ensure there is a balance for both passive and active reserve use, public access and safety, risk minimisation, environmental outcomes and that user guidelines are maintained.

Recent changes

Since implementing reserve use licensing for paragliding and hang gliding activities the following risk management improvements have been adopted:- 

  • Greater understanding of community expectations
  • Insight into appropriate sites for paragliding activities
  • Understanding of relevant legislation & guidelines (ie: CASA, ATSB, HGFA)
  • Establishment of  Conditions of Consent32KB pdf(PDF, 32KB) 
  • Delineation of site launch & landing zones (view image gallery by clicking on the Gallery_icon_small icon at top right of page)
  • Improved risk management & safety requirements  
  • Reporting obligations & complaints resolution mechanisms established
  • Emergency Landing / Tree Landing Register established by Mid North Coast Flyers
  • Installation of advisory signage, site guidelines & public awareness information
  • Compliance monitoring – licensee & general public
  • Reserve licensing review process

Need to report a flying breach?

All incidents should be directed to Mid North Coast Flyers in the first instance.

The Club is required to acknowledge registered complaints within seven (7) days, and where practical, provide a written response to the complainant within twenty eight (28) days.

This page was last updated on: 04 May 2021