Covid-19 Airworks Risk Assessment


Site Name: Airworks Paragliding Centre

Nearest Public Convenience: Glynde Village P.C.

Access:  From Glynde Railway Station.


1       Summary

Hand washing facilities will be provided at the school vehicle.

1.1     Prior Infection

If you have a fever or have recently developed other symptoms of CV-19 please do not attend the lesson. Please do provide us with as much notice as possible.

1.2     Equipment the student must provide

In addition to the standard old layered clothing, windproof outer layer and ankle protecting boots if you have them, we ask that you come equipped with:


Š      A well-fitting mask or face covering that can be worn securely under our helmets without obscuring vision.

Š      A pair of stout light durable gloves, e.g. thin leather driving gloves.

Š      Eye protection e.g. sunglasses. Normally recommended anyway.

Š      Hand sanitiser

Š      A secure way of taking your own rubbish and disposable items away.

Š      Long sleeved top and full-length trousers if using school equipment.

Š      A pen

1.3     School Premises

Airworks paragliding centre is based at 4 Stone Cross Farm, Lewes Road Laughton, but we will be meeting for the time being at Glynde Village Car Park, BN8 6RU.


Students are asked not to enter the school premises and to maintain a 2m social distance at all times. There is an open public WC within the flint building in the car park.

1.4     Cafe

Airworks Paragliding Centre café is now permanently closed.

1.5     Transport to Sites

We regret that are only able to provide transport to sites at this time in accordance with current government guidelines. This means one metre separation and mandatory wearing of face masks. Thus our vehicle can only accommodate three passengers from separate households or one household of four or one household of two and two others from separate households.

The station car park is not free. On the other side of the river bridge is the free village car park where we will be meeting and there is ample free on road parking.

1.6     Helmets

We have a number of helmets for students to use. Helmets are sanitised after use and, as far as possible, quarantined for two days. We strongly recommend that students on longer courses purchase EN966 helmets for their personal use. Our sister company Winging It has a range of helmets in stock.

1.7     Radios, Harnesses and Gliders

Radios and harnesses are sanitised after use and, as far as possible, quarantined for two days.


The paraglider’s rucksack, risers and controls are separated from the harnesses and sanitised after use and, as far as possible, quarantined for one day.


If you choose to further sanitise equipment DO NOT get sanitiser on the canopy itself or the lines.

1.8     Person to Person Transmission

Excepting in and emergency, instructors will not approach closer than 2m from students (unless wearing a facemask when the limit is reduced to 1m.) and we ask that you return the courtesy.

1.9     Misunderstanding

Instructions could be muffled by the use of masks. Students are reminded to ask if they do not clearly understand any instruction.

1.10 Gates & Stiles

Gates and stiles will be sanitised at the beginning and end of the teaching session.






2       Risk Assessment Basis

2.1     Severity of risk


Probably injury

Assessment factor



Minor – not requiring first aid


Minor – requiring only first aid


Moderate - requiring hospital treatment but not resulting in extended period of incapacitation


Severe – extended period of incapacitation


Fatal or profound



2.2     Probability of event


Probably injury

Assessment factor





Moderate probability


High probability


Very high probability


Almost certain




3       Hazards – All reference the risk of CV-19 transmission:

3.1     Prior Infection

Hazard: If you are exhibiting a fever or have recently developed any other symptoms of CV-19 there is a risk that you may be infectious.





Remedy: Students & Instructors are asked not to attend any lesson if they are exhibiting symptoms. At this time it is not known whether CV-19 can be caught more than once so a previous infection does not override this requirement.


3.2     School Premises

Hazard: Airworks paragliding centre is based at Unit 4, Stone Cross Farm Laughton, BN8 6BN. The premises are very old, narrow and congested making the maintenance of social distancing effectively impossible.





Remedy: Students are asked not to enter the premises and to maintain a 2m social distance at all times. Check in will be performed outside while maintaining social distancing.


The WC is separately controlled and maintained.


3.3     Cafe

Hazard: Airworks paragliding centre café is now permanently closed.

3.4     Transport to Sites

Hazard: It is only possible to maintain mitigated social distancing within the vehicles available to Airworks.




Remedy: Students are encouraged to use their own transport. Only limited numbers may legally be carried in the vehicle available to the school. Masks must be worn.


Our normal main summer site is within walking distance of the school premises. The site(s) used are determined by the wind direction and strength.


Be aware that the station car park charges.


On the other side of the river bridge is the free village car park. Additionally there is ample free on road parking nearby.



3.5     Helmets

Hazard: We provide a number of helmets for students to use.




Remedy: Staff will sanitize helmets after use. Helmets are quarantined for 72 hours after the last use if possible. Sanitizer is made available to the students to further sanitize helmets if they wish.


We strongly recommend that students on longer courses purchase their own EN966 helmets for their personal use as soon as possible. Our sister company Winging It has a range of helmets in stock.


3.6     Radios, Rucksacks, Harnesses and Gliders

Hazard: We supply radios, rucksacks, paragliders and harnesses. These will come into close contact with students as they use, wear and carry them.





Remedy: Harnesses are separated from the gliders at the end of the day. Staff will sanitize radios, rucksacks, harnesses and the paraglider’s risers and controls at the end of the days flying.


Sanitizer is provided should students wish to additionally lightly sanitize radios, rucksacks, harnesses and the paraglider’s risers and controls before use or during the day.


It is not appropriate to use sanitiser on the lines or the wing itself as this could damage the canopy.


Where possible any such equipment shall be quarantined for 72 hours from last use.



3.7     Person to Person Transmission

Hazard: Closely approaching people greatly increases the risk of CV-19 transmission.




Remedy:  Except in an emergency, instructors will not approach closer than 2m from students unless wearing a face mask, when the distance is reduced to 1m. We ask that you return the courtesy both to instructors and other students.


Masks must be worn by students and staff at all times when within 2 metres of any person


Airworks cannot at this time supply students with masks so please do bring your own.


3.8     Misinterpretation

Hazard: Using masks risks modestly increasing the risk of vocal instructions being misunderstood.




Remedy: Instructors will ask students to repeat back any critical instructions as per normal practice.


Students are reminded that they must ask for clarification if they do not clearly understand an instruction.


As per normal practice any students with hearing difficulties must ensure that their instructor is made aware.



3.9     Gates & Stiles

Hazard: Touching gates and stiles risks manual transmission. The presence of pilots on farmland is said to increase the risk of bringing CV-19 into rural areas. CV-19 is said to persist for no more than 48 hours on a surface outdoors.




Remedy: Gates & stiles are to be sanitised at the beginning and end of each flying session. We ask that students wear robust gloves, predominantly to remind themselves to avoid touching their faces. Surgical gloves are not recommended because they are insufficiently durable. The optimum is a thin leather glove. These may have to be removed to secure harnesses etc. but it is preferable if they are worn continuously.



Reviewed:   Steve Purdie 05/03/2021- Version 3.00











• Stay at home if you are showing symptoms of Covid 19, or should be self-isolating having had contact with someone suspected to be infected with Covid 19.


• If you are in a high-risk group consider carefully if you wish to risk infection through joining others, even though it is outdoors and with special measures in place.


• Bear in mind that you may be asymptomatic - act accordingly, maintaining social distancing and be vigilant with hand hygiene when touching surfaces.


• In general, a two-metre distance must always be maintained. Only in specific situations can this distance be reduced. In these situations, effective measures must be taken to ensure the protection of those involved.




• Every member carries individual responsibility for adhering to the rules to minimise the risk of infection or transmission of the disease.


• Maintain a two-metre distance in all situations, unless required to provide essential first aid.


• Carry hand sanitising gel. (BRING YOUR OWN – THIS IS NOT PROVIDED)


• Inform yourself of your Club's - and any site-specific - guidance before travelling to fly.


Access to the flying site


• Club members should travel to and from flying locations individually in separate vehicles until Government advice changes to allow sharing. When this is not possible, club members must follow the guidance from UK Government on distancing in vehicles / on public transport.


• Before and after contact with any surfaces outdoors (stiles, gates and gate latches, etc), the BHPA recommends the use of hand sanitising gel.


On the site

• Only unpack and set up your equipment if intending to fly. On landing, immediately clear the landing area and carry your equipment to an appropriate unoccupied area to pack up.


• Use your own equipment. Try not to come into contact with another pilot's equipment. If you are required to touch a piece of equipment that comes into contact with others, the BHPA recommends the use of hand sanitising gel applied before and after use (however this may not be appropriate for application on certain types of equipment).


• Providing assistance to a pilot - hang check. Avoid “hands on” contact and check remotely from a two-metre distance, allowing extra time to perform the checks.


• Providing assistance - e.g. pull-starting another pilot's paramotor. Do not undertake this activity as it is not possible to maintain a two-metre distance.


• Dual flights are only allowed if both pilot and passenger live in the same household. In the current situation, dual pilots are strongly advised not to operate in conditions where a launch assistant may be needed.


• Providing assistance - launch assistant for dual paragliding. It is impossible to undertake this role and maintain a two-metre distance. As well as the usual requirements for launch assistants, the launch assistant must be a member of the same household as the pilot and passenger.


• In general terms, you should not be flying cross country - any “retrieve” journey may not adhere to Covid 19 travel guidelines. For the time being, only undertake flights local to your site.


• Do not share food and drinks and dispose of waste at home.



After flying


• Upon arrival back home, decontamination should take place by washing hands and quarantining any equipment for as long as possible, either outside or in a dedicated separate space indoors.


Protect the NHS


The inherent risk to aviation participants has not changed because of Covid 19, however there are measures that individuals can take to further reduce the risk of an incident whilst allowing activities to re-commence.


• Undertake any flying activity at a level well within your ability. Normal springtime conditions and currency precautions apply.

• Low airtime pilots and those recently qualified are advised to seek advice from a Club Coach before re-commencing flying.


• All pilots are advised to re-acquaint themselves with their flying equipment by setting it up in an isolated outdoor space and checking it (e.g. in garden), before resuming flying.


• All pilots are advised to initially undertake flight activity in light winds to minimise the need for another pilot to intervene.




Any club member organising a coaching session / towing activity is advised to inform club members who are planning to take part about these guidelines at least one day before the start of the coaching / activity.


Any club official or licence holder organising a coaching or training session must ask club members at the beginning of the coaching session if they feel ill or have symptoms of Covid 19. If necessary, they must be excluded from the activity.


If a club member who has taken part in the coaching session subsequently falls ill, he/she must immediately inform the club official / licence holder who conducted the coaching / activity. This official will check which other persons in the coaching session he/she has been in contact with and will inform these people immediately.





• Maintain a two-metre distance in all situations, unless required to provide essential first aid.


• Be aware of positioning - avoid standing directly upwind/downwind of a pilot (even when briefing from two metres away).


• Carry hand sanitising gel.


• Physical intervention on launch / landing should be avoided unless required in an emergency to prevent an incident.


• Restrict access to club buildings to essential personnel only.


• Where a qualified first-aider is required to enable an operation to take place, the first-aider should update him or herself with the latest advice from their certificate provider or NHS advice for first aiders. The Resuscitation Council has specific advice on risk of transmission of Covid 19 and performing resuscitation.



Specific guidelines for Coaching


• First refresh your coaching basic skills by using guidance material / coaching resources.


• Encourage Club Pilots you are coaching to undertake tasks that involve flying in the local area (do not undertake supervised cross-country flights for Club Pilots for the foreseeable future).


• Encourage Club Pilots you are coaching to initially undertake flights in light winds to reduce the need to physically intervene.


• During briefing/de-briefing use a “hands-off” manner. Allow extra time to conduct demos, and brief/debrief maintaining 2m distance.



Specific guidelines for tow / aerotow operations


• Segregate the launch queue to allow social distancing to be maintained.


• All winch / tow vehicle controls and ancillary equipment (e.g. signal bats, radios) to be thoroughly sanitised before and after use. Avoid user changes if possible. If the user changes, the equipment must be appropriately sanitised when changing user.


• If radios are used they should be sanitised with suitable wipes when changing user.


• The Launch Marshal should conduct verbal checks from at least two metres and to the side of the pilot.


• The Launch Marshal is advised to hold the end of the hang glider keel instead of the nose (for example to position the glider on the aerotow trolley).


• Tow groups must agree and write down a procedure to minimise person-to-person contact via the tow rope, connections and glider launch trolleys, ensuring that appropriate sanitation is carried out on all surfaces to minimise risk of transference of Covid 19. The procedure is to be circulated and followed by all pilots, operators, tug pilots, launch marshals and coaches involved in the activity.



Guidelines for solo training and dual flights will be released in due course.

Marc Asquith, BHPA Chairman, May 15th 2020


Posted: 15 May 2020
By: Paul Dancey














Please note that whilst groups from different families may now meet, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have differing advice on the number of people that can take part in sports training.  There has been no relaxation on social distancing, and 2m separation still applies throughout the United Kingdom. 

The above is a summary.  It is subject to change and there may be additional requirements imposed by national governments (for example travel distance limits that affect whether you and your students can travel to a flying site).

The BHPA Flying and Safety Committee (FSC) sees there are two main issues with solo beginner training.   Firstly, there is the issue of handing out flying equipment to students, and the risk of transmission of COVID 19 from handling gear touched by an infected person.  We think this can be reduced by sensible precautions – ones that your students would expect, such as cleaning of helmets between use, asking students to inform you if they develop symptoms, and following government guidance for disinfecting in the case of contact with a person suspected or confirmed to be infected. 

Secondly, there is the issue of adhering to the social distancing advice whilst conducting your activity.  This will require careful thought and some pre-planning.  If you normally have a “hands-on” approach to teaching (e.g. putting controls and paraglider risers in your students’ hands) you will have to change your technique to avoid the close contact.  It can be done from two metres away – the process takes longer and requires an additional degree of care and prudent selection of conditions.  You will probably find yourself having to perform more demos.  The FSC acknowledges that commercial pressures may push you or your instructors towards taking the maximum size group allowed.  You are advised to resist this - at least until familiarity has been gained in the necessary adaptions to instructional technique to accommodate these exceptional circumstances.

There may be some situations where it is necessary to break the 2m distancing ‘bubble’.  This could be an emergency intervention to prevent a student being dragged on a paraglider.  It could be to double check a student’s pre-flight check or to perform an emergency shutdown of a power unit.  During the initial phases (including first hops), the student and instructor should wear a disposable mask or covering over the nose and mouth during periods in the training when there is a risk of possibly needing closer proximity than two metres.  At all times, being closer than two metres to another person must be kept to a minimum amount of time.

There may well be some situations where it is impossible to adhere to the two-metre distancing principle, for example to provide HG hang checks, nose wire control and launch assistance.  In these circumstances the instructor and student must wear a disposable mask or covering over the nose and mouth.  Please perform tasks with the usual diligence but endeavour to minimise time within the two metre ‘bubble’.

Phase 3 (dual air experience flights and dual flights for passengers who are not members of the pilot’s household) will only be authorised upon the issuing of guidance on proximity between members of the public that can be applied effectively to dual flying.


1st June 2020


Guidelines for BHPA schools to resume training on a phased basis.

Given the new guidelines from UK Government and from devolved administrations on recreational activities, the BHPA issues below its Stage 2b guidance for its schools to provide solo beginner training.

The BHPA guidelines in response to COVID 19 published on its website should be adhered to.

For a BHPA school to resume operation and provide coaching or teaching, the following pre-requisites apply: 

1) the country you are operating in permits recreational flying;

2) the landowner’s permission has been obtained for the activity;

3) if the site is operated by a BHPA club, the club’s permission has to be obtained for the activity.

The basis of the BHPA guidance is the UK Government’s guidance on the resumption on recreational activities.  The devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have issued separate guidance on travel, recreation and group activities, which must be followed if you operate in one of these countries. 

If your BHPA school is based in another European country, the local guidance must be adhered to.


Phase 2b: Solo training for existing students 

Schools with premises and/or staff:

Follow the Government’s advice for the workplace and public access, and make sure its advice is passed on to your staff and any visitors.  The size of your operation may require you to have written risk assessments in place, updated with your policies regarding COVID 19.



Students and instructors should each travel to and from flying locations individually in separate vehicles.  Shared lifts, either to or from the training site, or back to take-off should not take place unless transported by a member of the same household.


Group size: 

The UK Government’s / Devolved Administration’s guidelines on group activity in the context of sports training must be adhered to.



Before training, the instructor has to make the student(s) aware of the BHPA’s coronavirus "Overarching Principles”, including checking that the student doesn’t have any symptoms, and is not in a high-risk group. 

You are recommended to have your school specific coronavirus policy written down for students to read before they commence training.  This could be emailed to your prospective students, or presented on a clear plastic wrapped sheet (that can be wiped down between use).  Before they commence training, your students must be aware that:

      a) There are obligations on the student to follow the Government’s protection measures.

      b) Additional protection measures are in place at your school.

      c) Students will be asked if they feel ill or have symptoms of COVID 19 at the beginning of the teaching session.

      d) If a student who has taken part in training subsequently falls ill in the following 14 days, he/she must immediately inform the school.

      e) Your school will hold contact details of all trainees so that you can inform students of any possible contact risk with an infected person at the school.  If it is necessary to distribute information about a potential contact with an infected person (or a person where infection is suspected), the relevant Government advice should be circulated (e.g. Government Health England).

      f) Your teaching methods will be adapted to respect the 2m distancing advice.  However, there may be some situations when this could be broken, and in these instances the student and instructor will wear a disposable mask or suitable mouth and nose covering.


You are advised to ask students to come to your school prepared with:



Joining the BHPA. 

The online facility exists for a student to become a BHPA before attending your school: (https://join.bhpa.co.uk/join.php?cookie=2&formid=1371553331)

It is only possible to join as an annual or three-month trial member using this system.  Day membership cannot be signed-up for this way, and you are encouraged to promote annual membership where possible, through the online joining system.  This will minimise handling of the membership book.

Membership using the membership book – the person administering the membership and the student(s) filling out the book should wear disposable gloves at all times when using or handling this book. 

You are advised to detach the cover sheet and the carbon “school” copy so that these are the only sheets that are potentially handled by several students.  Ensure that the carbon copy of the name, signature, etc. filled out by the student comes through in the normal way.  The personal details slip (for trial or annual membership) can be filled out and signed by the student as normal.  Please ensure they write legibly.  The slip can be scanned or photographed by the instructor and emailed to the BHPA Head Office for processing (office@bhpa.co.uk).  The school is advised to keep the original slip in the event that the details cannot be read by the office.  The slip should be kept in an individual clear plastic wallet/sleeve to minimise contact.

The school shall pass the Student Training Record Book (STRB) to the student at the beginning of the training day.  Once exercises are satisfactorily completed and are ready to be signed off, the instructor will witness the student signing the relevant exercise off in the STRB, respecting two-metre social distancing.  The instructor MUST collect the STRB from the student at the end of the training session.  This process is to minimise the necessity to keep handing the book between student and instructor, whilst maintaining good instructional practice with exercises being signed off as soon as they are completed (and not as a block at the end of a training day).  It is recommended the school keeps STRBs in individual clear plastic wallets/sleeves.  The flight log in the back of the STRB and the exercises signed off by students can be later signed off by the instructor, wearing disposable gloves.

 Daily Log use.  Pay careful attention to recording student times on and off the site.

 Written exams: 

The exams are to be conducted maintaining a two-metre distance.   

Exam question sheets can be laminated or kept for use in clear plastic wallets, so they can be wiped down with disinfectant wipes between each use. 

Answer sheets in STRBs should be used where possible.  If separate answer sheets are necessary, these are to be handed out and used wearing appropriate disposable gloves to minimise risk of transmission or contamination.

Marking of completed papers: the student reads the answer written on their sheet.  The instructor says correct or incorrect, and records on their own sheet the student’s answer to each question.  If separate answer sheets are used: once marking is complete, the instructor photographs the student’s answer sheet for record, before the student disposes of it.

Issuing of CP paperwork: student and Senior Instructor are to wear appropriate disposable gloves to minimise risk of transmission or contamination.


 Guidelines for teaching:

General principle: the BHPA syllabus requires that “very close supervision” is provided during the initial phases (see BHPA Technical Manual 2.1.6).  Very close supervision does not mean the instructor places the controls in the student’s hands, and takes hold of (e.g.) the paraglider risers to launch the student – it is expected that students are trained to do this themselves, per standard instructional good practice. 

Specific techniques:


Weather conditions for training: 

In order to minimise the risk of needing to break the two-metre rule to physically intervene if something is going wrong, instructors are strongly advised to undertake exercises with their student(s) in light winds and low gust variance.


 Equipment requirements: 

It is a decision for schools whether or not they loan out equipment.  The BHPA recommends schools limit the sharing of equipment that cannot easily be sanitised.  If helmets cannot be easily cleaned (or the manufacturer recommends against it), the school is advised to suggest that students buy their own helmet.


Cleaning in-between use for school equipment.


Cleaning can only take place if recommended by the manufacturer.  School helmets must be cleaned and radios sanitised in-between every use by different people.


If you think that your equipment has been exposed to a virus carrier:

Equipment should be cleaned and dried as recommended by the manufacturer and then quarantined for at least 72 hours before re-use.

It is not possible to carry out or guarantee complete disinfection.  The following precautionary guidance is suggested to reduce the risk. 

For reference, the Government’s guidance on cleaning in a non-healthcare setting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings



The guidelines above are issued to minimise the risk of transmission or cross contamination by infringing the two-metre distancing guideline.  The BHPA acknowledges that in the event of an emergency, it may be necessary to physically intervene (e.g. to prevent an incident) or to provide first aid.

In preparation for teaching and receiving clients, all first aiders in the school should update themselves with the latest advice from their certificate provider or NHS advice for first aiders.  The Resuscitation Council has specific advice on risk of transmission of COVID 19 and performing resuscitation.

The school first aid kit that accompanies the instructor must contain at least two appropriate masks and pairs of disposable gloves.


Kind regards




Mark Shaw

BHPA Technical Officer


Tel: +44 (0) 116 289 4316

Email: mark-shaw@bhpa.co.uk

Web: www.bhpa.co.uk


British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA)

8 Merus Court, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 1RJ, England
Tel: 0116 289 4316

Fax: 0116 281 4949

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Limited.
A company limited by guarantee and registered in England no 2618166    

Registered office: 340 Melton Road, Leicester, LE4 7SL