Allow Gliding to resume - with social distancing

Allow gliding to resume as an outdoors sport - for at least solo flying and possibly dual flying with appropriate PPE and precautions.

It is relatively easy to maintain social distancing requirements during operations . The activity of solo flying is very low risk in terms of transmission and being able to resume would help keep people active and mentally happier. The transmission risks for gliding are probably lower than golfing.

Planning is already well advanced in what measures are required to operate safely and with minimal risk of virus transmission.

Why the contribution is important

Being unable to take part in an activity which is a very large part of a lot of people's lives is very negative for mental health, especially given the recent good weather - rare in Scotland. If other forms of outdoor exercise and activities are allowed to restart then it would be a massive set-back if this did not include gliding.

In addition the four gliding clubs in Scotland are suffering massively financially and allowing them to restart would allow at least some funds to flow and support the employees at these clubs. The clubs and activity are a big contributor to the local economies near each club in Scotland and allowing gliding to restart now improves the chances of these clubs still being in existence when we eventually escape from the nightmare of CV-19.

by alastairmutch on May 08, 2020 at 02:33PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 43 votes


  • Posted by Tellusa May 08, 2020 at 15:07

    I fully agree with this suggestion. Gliding is a very safe activity and presents a very minimal risk of transmission of the virus.
  • Posted by mrecht May 08, 2020 at 15:08

    I fully support this proposal and would extend it to cover all general aviation that could be carried with appropriate social distancing and minimal risks for solo flying at least. This is important for the mental health of those people for whom flying is a major part of their lives.
  • Posted by Westcoaster May 08, 2020 at 15:24

    At some point, yes. The BGA/SGA and clubs are all thinking about how to achieve this safely both from covid and flying risk . We've got to plan for the long haul and find a new way of doing everything, and it's not just flying.
  • Posted by Johnhoy May 08, 2020 at 15:27

    This sport can be operated with social distancing and closed canopies
  • Posted by Tanimal May 08, 2020 at 15:28

    Even if only solo flying was permitted initially, this would also enhance safety down the line when dual flying resumes, as it is likely some of those flying solo will also be instructors and they can remain in current flying practice.
  • Posted by Brianbrianna275 May 08, 2020 at 15:30

    Fully supportive of this idea. As suggested it is very easy to isolate and operate safely.
    Appropriate measures such as sanitising aircraft providing facility for sanitising /washing hands were implimented in my club prior to lockdown
    Risk assessmsnts will be prepared and availble to assess all risks and activitys carried our by the club
    Solo flying is in effect total isolation, while flying there is zero risk of transmission
  • Posted by zgoudie May 08, 2020 at 15:41

    Solo flying could be operated just as safely or even more so than many other sports.
  • Posted by hazza May 08, 2020 at 15:51

    I think that with the appropriate social distancing measures, and PPE, gliding could continue for the benefit of thousands of gliding club members. For some people, gliding is a big part of their lives, and it’s evident that they hate the absence of gliding from their lives during these trying times. Please take this matter with a degree of seriousness, as thousands of gliding community members need to stay current and to maintain their glider should they have one..they can’t sit in hangars for much longer.
  • Posted by SallyW May 08, 2020 at 15:58

    Gliding is an outdoor sport, and for the most part can easily and safely be accomplished with social distancing and sanitising the gliders.
  • Posted by roygarden May 08, 2020 at 16:06

    I support this idea as gliding is carried out at acceptable social distance.
    restarting this activity will ensure pilots remain current and thus improve the safety of all concerned.
  • Posted by tjma1264 May 08, 2020 at 16:16

    I fully support this suggestion. Solo flying could be resumed with full social distancing and minimal risk of transmission. It would make a huge difference to the well-being of many, and help secure the future of clubs that have been part of the community for decades.
  • Posted by johnb42 May 08, 2020 at 16:32

    Yes. Gliding, like fishing, golf, cycling and hill climbing is an outdoor activity which can be carried out within sensible social distancing rules. Solo flying at least is straightforward. Dual flying will need to wait until adequate testing options are available.
  • Posted by cjh1959 May 08, 2020 at 16:35

    I fully support this suggestion. All gliding clubs in Scotland have already or are in the process of developing plans with associated risk assessments covering members, volunteers and employees for the restart of flying operations. These plans are based on advice from the Scottish Government and British Gliding Association. Instructions on how to operate, taking account of social distancing and hygiene requirements to mitigate the risk of C0vid-19, will be circulated widely to participants in advance of flying operations re-starting . It would make a huge difference to the well-being of many pilots for whom flying is a major part of their lives. It would help secure the future of clubs that are a substantial part of local communities.
  • Posted by erua06 May 08, 2020 at 16:38

    Outdoor, minimal risk. Fully support
  • Posted by katefbyrne May 08, 2020 at 16:48

    I fully support this idea. Gliding is an outdoor activity where social distancing is possible and suitable PPE could be used. It contributes enormously to people's well-being and pilots need to get airborne soon to regain and maintain currency.
  • Posted by BillWinton May 08, 2020 at 17:09

    Most gliding us conducted in privately owned gliders or gliders owned by a small syndicate.
    Once launched in a solo glider it is definitely a self isolating activity.
  • Posted by lindsaymac May 08, 2020 at 17:12

    Gliding is a sport that already relies on observance of rules and regulations to minimise risk and promote safety. Clubs are imaginative and well able to introduce hygienic routines and practical social distancing to prevent any possible transmission of Covid-19.
    I would strongly encourage the early lifting of the current restrictions.
  • Posted by slesniewska May 08, 2020 at 17:17

    I only wonder how important gliding is to the wider population? I'm thinking of thousands of people currently spending lockdown living in high rise flats or other crowded conditiones with no access to even tiny scrap of garden or greenery. Probably being furlough if they are lucky or had lost their 0 hours contracts. I'm sure they all terribly miss gliding!
  • Posted by DevVeh May 08, 2020 at 17:21

    Accidents happen and we should be trying to reduce our use of essential services.

    Would this also have people who are over confident and dont know what they are doing, going and gliding by themselves. Especially if gliding centers are forced to remain shut.
  • Posted by AdrianD May 08, 2020 at 18:01

    Gliding is a safe and socially distant outdoor sport that can easily observe social distancing rules.

    All solo pilots are trained to a very high standard and overseen by very highly qualified and experienced instructors.

  • Posted by HighlandHeather May 08, 2020 at 18:28

    I fully suppport this proposal. Gliding operations are easy to run in a socially distanced way and pilots need to keep current to maintain their pilot's licence.
  • Posted by R40BER May 08, 2020 at 18:34

    I fully support the idea of reopening gliding which is an outdoor sport where social distancing can effectively be applied. Gliding is a regulated sport, glider pilots are responsible individuals and gliding clubs take care of their members.
    Due to an exceptional wet and windy start to the year earnings for clubs was greatly reduced followed by shutdown may see some clubs struggle to stay viable.

  • Posted by Dins May 08, 2020 at 18:58

    Gliding is a marvellous way of gaining fresh air, exercise and fine motor skills, in a very low polluting manner. We ceased flying ahead of the lockdown, but to preserve skills , and therefore enhancing safety we need to get flying again, even if only solo. I fully support this proposal
  • Posted by Dins May 08, 2020 at 19:06

    I should add that gliding esp from my club generates significant out of season tourist business, ( last formal assessment was if I recall quite a few million to the local economy ) in the upper dee valley. We host a n annual competition, the UK Mountain soaring competition , in September... And we need to practice first,please. (Declaration of interest I am on the committee of the host club. )
  • Posted by Agent_c May 08, 2020 at 19:16

    Solo flying only. Yes.
  • Posted by Dins May 08, 2020 at 19:18

    I should add that gliding esp from my club generates significant out of season tourist business, ( last formal assessment was if I recall quite a few million to the local economy ) in the upper dee valley. We host a n annual competition, the UK Mountain soaring competition , in September... And we need to practice first,please. (Declaration of interest I am on the committee of the host club. )
  • Posted by awilson May 08, 2020 at 19:52

    Gliding is a sport with inherently self disciplined participants but relies on continuity of participation to maintain flight currency of the pilots. Social distancing and disinfecting would not be difficult to introduce and police. Gliding club funds are largely dependant on airmiles flown and are needed for airfield maintenance.
  • Posted by Whiteliner May 08, 2020 at 19:58

    There are 5 gliding clubs in Scotland, all in rural or remote areas. Each brings significant economic benefit to its locality and beyond, as well as opportunities to take part in a demanding and highly skilled activity. It's character building of the highest degree.
    The Deeside Gliding Club at Aboyne, of which I have been a member since the 1970s, has a world-wide reputation for mountain wave high-altitude soaring, regularly attracting some of the world's top pilots (and many aspiring to join their ranks) throughout the year and especially in autumn, when most other tourists have returned home.
    Keeping current is an essential part of maintaining already high levels of safety for any air sport, and gliding is no exception. With some sensible restrictions, I can see no reason why a gliding club cannot operate in a safe, socially-distanced mode.
  • Posted by JAYT22 May 08, 2020 at 20:31

    Gliding is an activity which clubs strive to make available to all.

    For those that are current pilots - or were in March - it is probably statistically safer than driving to the airfield, and there is a clear mental health benefit to those who participate.

    As long as risk of transmission can be mitigated the benefit far outweighs the risk for pilots from a senior age-group for whom it is an exhilarating outdoor activity, and a younger group who can do amazing things.
  • Posted by Skylark3 May 08, 2020 at 22:13

    Gliding is not conducted in an environment where participants are in close proximity by default, apart from 2 seaters and for training. If we get solo pilots back in the air, the sport will revive much more quickly once further safety can be guaranteed.
  • Posted by RoyOne May 09, 2020 at 08:33

    Gliding is a sport which, if measures are put in place, can easily accommodate social distancing and the other measures which minimise and keep us safe from Covid19. Solo flying is particularly easy to implement.
  • Posted by kevindillon May 09, 2020 at 11:29

    Solo gliding can be enjoyed while maintaining social distancing and without risk to anyone, The benefits to those directly involved are significant and may contribute to our gliding clubs surviving the pandemic. Let's adopt an approach to how we live which is based upon an intelligent assessment of risk
  • Posted by JRITCHIE May 09, 2020 at 11:29

    I agree with previous comments that Gliding can be carried out safely and with proper social distancing measures in place for solo flying.
  • Posted by MikeFo May 09, 2020 at 12:03

    I fully support this proposal. With appropriate safeguards solo gliding can take place with minimal risk of picking up or passing on the virus. Those clubs with furloughed workers can bring some of them back, saving the tax payer the 80% of their wages they currently pay.
  • Posted by bobpetrie May 09, 2020 at 12:14

    Gliding is one activity which can easily be allowed due to the fact that when flying solo social distancing is automatic. Due to the fact that this activity is highly skilled, it is necessary to stay in current practice as a pilot in command. This is exactly the same as pilots who fly for a living.
     Whilst it will be some time before instructional training can begin, it is essential that volunteer instructors can regain the level of currency needed to start training our trainee pilots again.
    I would also add that this is a green and healthy outdoors activity which is good for the mind and body and that the government keeps advising us all to take part in for the good of our health.
  • Posted by westergate May 09, 2020 at 13:17

    Gliding is a very disciplined sport carried out under stringent requirements of the CAA through the British Gliding Association. Participants are used to having to do things properly in accordance with rules so would have very little difficulty in abiding by sanitary requirements. As time passes it will require an increased amount of two seat flying to return those laid of to currency so will increase any minimal risk there may be. Personal health is an important consideration already in assessing ability to fly so no pilot with any doubt would attend a club in any case. Non symptomatic people would feel fine but the amount of contact during launching is minimal. Wing holder is a half span away, around 7m minimum. Winch drivers or tug pilots are between 30 and 900m away depending on the site. The reduction of stress for participants would be great and also reduce the temptation to do other more risky things. We are only human and frustration and stress is easy to build up. If there is no light at the end of the tunnel then what hope is there and what is the point of carrying on, do we just give in and get it over with? Removing a frustrated pilot from the home for a period will also give relief to other family members. Please consider allowing the return of this great sport.
  • Posted by Rateone May 09, 2020 at 15:21

    Fully agree with this proposal. Gliding and private aviation are highly skilled activities that require the pilot to be in current practice whilst airfields are the very definition of open air so there is limited chance of infection if social distancing is maintained - Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer for England) has been quoted as saying "there is limited chance of catching CV-19 in the open air". Social distancing and disinfecting would not be difficult in this environment.
  • Posted by geoffpalmer May 09, 2020 at 15:22

    Hugely beneficial to mental and physical health to all - not just to the pilots involved. Essential too for the continued excellent safety record of the sport, in that confidence and competence on the part of participants will become tarnished if this gap continues for too long.
  • Posted by JohnGalloway May 09, 2020 at 17:53

    I strongly support being allowed to resume gliding starting with solo flying initially along with appropriate PPE, hygeine measures and social distancing. I can arrive at the airfield, get my glider ready to launch and fly without ever coming closer than many meters to anyone else. It is very important for pilots to maintain currency for legal, licensing and safety reasons. Furthermore, if gliding instructors are not able to maintain their solo currency now safety will be compromised when training resumes.
  • Posted by Welshwizard May 09, 2020 at 18:37

    I believe that gliding can be done safely with the necessary precautions in place.
    Some glider owners would be flying there own gliders with little contact with others.
    With sensible precautions with social distancing gliding could continue with benefits to physical and mental well-being.
  • Posted by dt May 10, 2020 at 11:40

    I believe that, with suitable precautions in place, gliding can be carried out safely. Many glider pilots live alone and attract the social isolation implications, including potential mental health issues associated with the current lockdown.
  • Posted by jrdransfield May 10, 2020 at 12:34

    Fully supported. Gliding clubs can operate within the social distancing rules, and with the ability to know who is present on any day could alert other members in the event of anyone becoming ill.
    Gliding and aviation in general is skill based, and a resumption of flying is highly desirable to prevent further loss of currency.
  • Posted by HH May 10, 2020 at 15:29

    Fully supported. Outdoor sport, minimal risk.
  • Posted by IGLIDE May 10, 2020 at 21:49

    I completely support this Idea, getting at a minimum gliding instructors back in the air flying solo is a critical Safety issue. Flying solo is by definition self isolating with minimal contact at well over the recommended distance.
  • Posted by jeankemp May 11, 2020 at 02:47

    I am afraid that I don't think gliding should be allowed for a privileged few. In many cases they will be driving considerable distances to get the airfield.
  • Posted by JR2001 May 11, 2020 at 09:57

    Gliding is a socially diverse activity and actively encourages people from all backgrounds to become involved. It is certainly not a sport for the privileged few. I fully support the early lifting of restrictions and allowing gliding operations to restart. I am personally involved in running a food manufacturing operation which has continued to operate during the lock down period. We have had to manage change within the business to take account of Covid-19 and ensure the continued safety of our colleagues . I am therefore very confident that the sport can safely resume with the implementation of required social distancing and hygiene measures.
  • Posted by Eladram May 11, 2020 at 13:01

    Solo gliding is by definition the ultimate socially distanced sport. There is no reason why it could not safely be resumed.
  • Posted by Andrew100 May 11, 2020 at 14:57

    I fully support the proposal that gliding clubs should be allowed to resume operations. This can be a two stage process, firstly by allowing solo flying. Many clubs are already developing protocols for socially distancing solo flying. Additional precautions are required for training flights with instructors and which can be subject to inspection and approval by the British Gliding Association or other approved body.
  • Posted by Hamsterpus May 11, 2020 at 19:38

    Obviously safe to do. Restart now.
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