Deutscher Gleitschirm- und Drachenflugverband e.V.


Flying and Nature conservation

There is hardly another air-sport, where pilots imitate bird-flight as closely as in hang- and paragliding. Using only the help of the sun and the wind, pilots can stay up in the air for hours. With their technical elegance, these non-powered aircraft offer us the chance to take-off and view the world from the third dimension.

In Germany it is only permitted to fly from specially certified sites. The Deutscher Hängegleiterverband (DHV) is responsible for certifying sites for hang- and paragliding, and acts on behalf of the Ministry of Transport according to § 25 of the German Air Traffic Law. The DHV commissions recognised investigators to determine the suitability of a site under several different viewpoints, for use with hang- and paragliders. Site certification is performed according to the verdicts presented by the investigators.

Hang- and paragliding are sports which are very dependant upon the right wind and weather conditions. The wind must not be too strong, and should come from a direction which is suitable for the site. It is therefore advantageous for these sports to have several sites suited to differing wind directions, through which individual sites are then less likely to be overrun. Grassy slopes and clearings are often used as launch sites, whereas most agricultural land is suitable for landing on. Though the use of winches, tow-launching is also possible from low-land flying sites.

Flying from a particular site is very dependant on the actual weather. Wind which is too strong, or blowing down-slope or from the wrong direction prevents launching. The DHV is also responsible on behalf of the Ministry of Transport for supervising the use of flying sites. For every site, the DHV designates a person responsible for this role.

Nature conservation
Before a site may be certified for flying use, the local nature conservation authorities must be consulted in accordance with § 16 of the German Air Traffic Law. Through this consultation, regulations may be defined (for example, to protect particularly sensitive areas) which then permit flying according to the local characteristics of a particular site.
The magazine DHV-Info informs pilots in the regular column “Flugsport und Natur”  of the latest site, environmental and conservation news.