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Flying a Powered Paraglider / Powered Hang-Glider / Powered Parachute / Paramotor in Ireland

Powered Paragliders, powered hang-gliders, powered parachutes, (including aircraft with a parawing, parachute, foil, canopy, or other lifting device) are a category of sporting or recreational aircraft that do not meet internationally recognised certification standards for aircraft. Nevertheless, because these aircraft are powered, aviation regulations require that they must be registered and have a valid Certificate of Airworthiness or Flight Permit before they are flown in the State. Pilots are required to hold an appropriate pilot licence or other equivalent qualification valid in Ireland. 

If you decide to fly a powered paraglider, powered hang-glider, powered parachute or similar aircraft, you should be aware that you are personally responsible for ensuring that you are appropriately qualified, and that the aircraft is in an airworthy state and that any operational and emergency equipment fitted is correctly installed and serviceable. Pilots also need to have permission to take-off and land at the places that they operate from, while also meeting the applicable conditions of the IAA Aerodromes and Visual Aids Order. 

Caution: “Flying (or attempting to fly) a combination of devices that is not expressly permitted by the wing (or other lifting device) manufacturer, fashioned into a powered paraglider, powered hang-glider, or any other type of powered aircraft, is not advised and may be illegal. Operators should be aware that the use of such combinations of devices may result in serious injury or death”.

The following points are provided for ease of access to the applicable aviation regulatory requirements for flying powered paragliders and powered hang-gliders in Ireland:

Aircraft Registration  

Any powered aircraft that comprises a hang-glider, paraglider, parawing, paraglider, foil, canopy or other lifting device, must be registered in Ireland or another ICAO signatory state before it is operated in Ireland. More information here:  IAA NOTICE G13 POWERED PARAGLIDERS, POWERED HANG-GLIDERS & SIMILAR POWERED AIRCRAFT.  

Flight Permits and Maintenance of Annex I aircraft

Generally, powered hang-gliders and powered paragliders fall into a category of aircraft listed in Annex I to the Basic Regulation (EU) 2018/1139. These aircraft are not subject to European Regulations but are subject to national legislation. More information here: IAA ADVISORY MEMORANDUM REGARDING FLIGHT PERMITS AND MAINTENANCE OF ANNEX I AIRCRAFT  

An ANNEX I aircraft registered in Ireland must have a valid Certificate of Airworthiness or Flight Permit before it is operated anywhere in the State. When such aircraft have a single seat, it may automatically qualify for a Flight Permit subject to compliance with the applicable conditions. More information here: FLIGHT PERMIT REQUIREMENT FOR SINGLE SEAT ANNEX I AIRCRAFT 

Pilot Licensing Requirements

Under the Irish Aviation Authority (Personnel Licensing) Order, a pilot of a powered aircraft flown in the state is required to hold a pilot licence or an exemption from holding a pilot licence issued in Ireland. More information here: POWERED PARAGLIDER AND POWERED HANG GLIDERS PILOT LICENSING REQUIREMENTS 

Alternatively, the holder of an appropriate pilot licence or aviation qualification issued by another ICAO signatory state or its national aviation authority or qualified entity, which permits or is accepted as being appropriate to enable the holder to act as pilot-in-command within that state of an ANNEX I aircraft, shall be exempt within the territorial limits of the State from the requirements of Article 5 of the Order while acting as a member of the flight crew of an aircraft being operated as a private aircraft. More information here: IAA NOTICE ABOUT THE ACCEPTANCE OF FLIGHT CREW LICENSING AND QUALIFICATIONS FROM OUTSIDE IRELAND 

Rules of the Air

Pilots of powered paragliders and powered hang-gliders should be aware of the Rules of the Air applicable to their flights and to other aircraft sharing the same airspace. The regulations establishing the common rules of the air and operational provisions regarding services and procedures in air navigation applicable to general air traffic are set out in the Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA). More information here: STANDARDISED EUROPEAN RULES OF THE AIR  

Visiting Aircraft

The IAA has made provisions for amateur-built/home-built aircraft registered in a Member State of the European Civil Aviation Conference and Civil aircraft classified in paragraphs (b), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (j) of Annex I and Article 2(8)(a) of Regulation (EU) No. 2018/1139 operating under a Permit to Fly scheme, Permit to Fly exemption, or equivalent, registered in any European Union member state. Under these arrangements, visiting aircraft, including powered-paragliders and powered hang-gliders, may not remain in the Republic of Ireland for a period of more than 28 days in any one visit without prior permission from the IAA, - with the exception of aircraft registered in the United Kingdom registered to an address in Northern Ireland. More information here: VISITING AIRCRAFT NOT HOLDING ICAO COMPLIANT CERTIFICATE OF AIRWORTHINESS


Private aircraft, including powered parachutes, powered paragliders, and powered hang-gliders, may use places not licensed as an aerodrome provided that the pilot of such aircraft holds a valid pilot licence, ensures that landing and take-off at such place can be effected without undue hazard to persons and property, and obtains the prior permission of the owner or occupier of that place. More information here: Irish Aviation Authority (Aerodromes and Visual Ground Aids) Order (SI 355 of 2008)