The Gliding Federation of Australia (or GFA
) is the body in charge of regulating the safe conduct of gliding
operations in Australia
. It is responsible to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
, and has been given a large degree of autonomy through various delegations from it. Established in 1949, the GFA administers all aspects of gliding airworthiness
and operations management through a small number of paid staff and a large network of volunteer
In Australia, glider pilots are exempt from holding pilots licences; instead, the GFA is responsible for issuing pilot certificates which are considered a satisfactory substitute for licences by CASA and the aviation industry. Most training for these certificates is done through gliding clubs across the country, where student pilots work their way through the levels of competence required to gain their A, B and finally C certificates.
The GFA also oversees national cross-country gliding competitions, and awards pilots for various achievements while cross-country flying, such as for flying 300km (Gold Distance) or reaching a height of 5,000m (Diamond Height).