New To Gliding
Achieving a balance between the needs of performance and competition oriented members, both club based and as individuals,as compared with the members who enjoy gliding without the desire to compete, has always been very much on the mind of GFA officials. The GFA is there to assist and support all members.
The range of experiences in gliding is almost limitless. The GFA is as equally concerned to provide opportunities, training and encouragement for the performance oriented pilots, who spend their time and efforts improving their standard for competition and record-breaking, as it is to cater for the "Sunday flyers" who just want to enjoy a quiet soaring flight at their local aerodrome.
It is also very much the aim of the GFA to offer its services as an organisation acting as a buffer between glider-pilots who simply wish to fly for fun and the aviation authorities and other aviation groupings who, if not held in check, can tend to promote over-regulation and limitations on reasonable freedom to fly as sporting pilots.
Since its establishment in 1949, the GFA has been given increasing autonomy through delegation from the various manifestations of the original Department of Civil Aviation, now called the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). At the present time the GFA administers the entire spectrum of airworthiness and operations management through a small number of paid staff and a large network of volunteers. The administration centre (the Secretariat) is based at Somerton, Melbourne.
Day to day administration of the Federation is carried out by the staff under direction of an Executive management team and Board. These staff are assisted by a network of Regional Officers in each state and the approved instructors and airworthiness inspectors in each club working in conjunction with the club committees. All gliding schools are all affiliated with the GFA and an integral part of the overall system.
For many years now the authorities have recognised and valued the work carried out under delegation on their behalf by the Federation and funding has been received on this basis as a fee for services rendered. Other than this financial assistance, which represents only a fraction of the cost for the work actually administered, the GFA is entirely funded by members subscriptions and reserves.
The GFA subscription comprises a large component of insurance costs on behalf of members of the Federation and includes a subscription to the official magazine, Soaring Australia, a monthly journal which also acts as a forum for letters and as the bearer of official notices to members.
The principles which originally motivated those who founded the GFA still remain:-
"The pursuit of high standards in flying training and competitive excellence with the additional aim of ensuring that the GFA retains its independence and authority to regulate itself along the lines agreed and traditionally expected by its membership."