Licensing and Regulations pertaining to
Powered Paragliding (PPG) operations
in South Africa (RSA)

Assimilated by Keith Pickersgill, Updated February 1999
Comment, corrections, updates and input welcome.
Tel 082 414-8448 or Email:
The Theoretical Knowledge Test is available here

This document serves to inform persons involved in the operations and flying of Powered Paragliders (paramotors), regarding the rules and regulations that concern Powered Paragliding (PPG) operations and activities in South Africa.

Controlling Body

On 18 January 1999, SAHPA (South African Paragliding and Hanggliding Association) elected to adopt Powered Paragliding and Powered Hanggliding operations, following a proposal from the PPG Steering Committee.
An on-line copy of the proposal can be read here.

For a brief background and history of PPG in South Africa, read the on-line account here.

SAHPA, through the PPG sub-committee, took over the responsibilities for issuing Powered Paraglider Licenses, as well as the Registration of each Paramotor, from the Aero club of SA whom carried these tasks prior to this.

It is now up to SAHPA, the PPG sub-committee, and all PPG pilots to regulate and protect the future of powered paragliding in SA (as well as powered hanggliding).


Licenses are available in three grades, namely Student, Pilot and Instructor.

A PPG Student License is required before commencement of any powered flying.

    Requirements for a PPG pilot's license:
  1. A minimum of a Basic Paragliding License as recognised by SAHPA
  2. A Powered Conversion Course with an approved PPG Instructor
    An on-line copy is available here
  3. Write and pass the written Theoretical Knowledge Test.
  4. An Aircraft Radio License (Restricted License sufficient) is highly recomended and will become mandatory in the near future.

PPG Instructors, whom are not SAHPA Paragliding Instructors, may only carry out powered conversion courses for licensed paraglider pilots and may not teach students to fly paragliders, which must be undertaken by a SAHPA approved paragliding instructor.

Annual License Renewals

A PPG pilot must comply with the following in order to renew the PPG license every year:

Rules and Regulations

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ultimately governs all civilian aviation in south Africa.
The CAA have delegated the control and licensing of recreational flying to the Aero Club of South Africa (ACSA)
In turn, the ACSA has delegated control of Paragliding, Hangliding, and powered version of both, to the South African Hanggliding and Paragliding Association (SAHPA)

This allows us, the pilots, to be self-policing, as we vote members from our flying community into positions of authority within SAHPA.
As long as we are able to maintain control from within, the CAA essentially leave us alone. If the accident and incident rate becomes unacceptably high, this situation may change. If we have renegade pilots flying where they want, how they want, they jeopardise the situation for all licensed pilots. It is up to us, the pilots, to ensure the situation is kept under control, and to protect our sport from undesirable elements.

Exceptions from any of the above may be granted in writing, only by the Commissioner, Civil Aviation Authority (For example, authority to fly overhead a sport event, for the purpose of aerial photography or sponsor logo exposure)