Visiting Pilots

The Tasman region of New Zealand is one of the premier flying destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.

The wide variety of sites available, from spectacular mountains to gorgeous coastal sites, combined with Tasman’s enviable number of flyable days per year, makes for a flying experience almost unsurpassed in the world.

CAA requirements

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations in New Zealand require that all hang glider and paraglider pilots (including visitors) must be current members of the New Zealand Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (NZHGPA) before flying. Membership, including visitor membership, can be applied for on the NZHGPA website. You can also find helpful information for visitors here. It is advisable to apply for visitor membership before arriving in NZ to prevent any delays in processing your membership.

As in all countries you visit, please respect the local flight restrictions, licensing, airspace and meteorological conditions. Many of the sites in our region are sensitive. Regardless of this, your flight at any of our sites will be enhanced by having local knowledge of conditions. Ensure that you contact local pilots to notify your intentions to fly or to ask about local flying conditions. As always: “If in doubt, don’t fly”.

Radios

Radios used in hang gliding and paragliding operations are the UHF band CB radios in the 476-478 Mhz range. If you wish to fly long distances, e.g. cross country from Barnicoat, you may be required to carry an airband radio and broadcast your intentions in the respective MBZs. To operate an airband radio in NZ you are required to hold an FRTO or ARO rating. A GPS tracker is also required for some sites in the region. For more information on specific sites click here.

Landowners

The THGPC has an excellent relationship with the landowners that kindly permit us to take-off and land at the designated sites on their land. Ensure you respect their property. Do not land in fields containing livestock, especially deer and horses.

Bringing gliders into NZ

If you are planning on bringing your glider into the country, be advised that NZ has strict biosecurity rules. First things first, please make sure that all paragliders and sporting equipment are declared. Undeclared items can lead to a $400 infringement fine.

The following is information provided by a Biosecurity Officer on how to prepare to bring your glider into the country:

Since it is difficult for biosecurity officers to determine the risk contained within paragliders (seeds, plant material, insects etc), it is common for the paraglider to be held back until all flights have been cleared, allowing staff to fully open the paraglider, lift up the wing and inspect/clean out all cells, vacuum any debris, etc. This can lead to delays of hours on a busy day. My recommendation for owners intending to travel with their equipment, is to take a video (of which a date stamp or information on the video will be required) of them cleaning their equipment before travel. This is ok a few days prior to travel so long as we can be confident/assured the equipment has not been used since. Quarantine Officers may then have the ability to use alternative clearance options as opposed to a full inspection/clean of the item(s) thus potentially allowing a passenger to leave the airport in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours, and of course without a $400 infringement.

Of course we cannot guarantee that providing such a video would give such clearance every time as there are numerous factors involved in border clearance that cannot be predicted or anticipated. But I am confident that this will make a big difference to many. At the very least if we still decide to inspect a canopy it will for sure be a much quicker process if it is already clean.”

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