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The term 'Glider' refers to various categories of aircraft i.e sailplanes, touring motor gliders, hang-gliders, paragliders and gyrogliders.
Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe where a licence is not required for flying gliders. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has filed a difference with ICAO exempting gliding from any form licencing, except for pilots of touring motor gliders who are required to hold a pilot licence in accordance with the requirements set out for a PPL(A).
Gliding in Ireland has been self-regulated since it started. While there are no "Official" licenses, standards similar to those used for PPLs and Gliding Licenses in other countries are applied. However, the IAA strongly recommends that no person should fly or attempt to fly these aircraft without receiving an appropriate course of training provided or approved by the relevant sport aviation association covering these aircraft.
Failure to receive such training may result in serious injury or loss of life, as well as damage to aircraft and/or property.
The Irish Gliding & Soaring Association (IGSA) currently oversees all aspects of gliding operations conducted in Ireland.
With the introduction of the new EASA Aircrew Regulations, which are due to come into force in Ireland from April 2015, glider pilots will have to hold an EASA Sailplane Pilot Licence (SPL) or Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Sailplane) (LAPL(S)).
Further information on the requirements for the grant of these licenses will be promulgated once they become available