The Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) is the governing body for the sport of gliding in Australia. It was founded in 1949. The GFA is responsible to Civil Aviation Safety Authority for the conduct of safe gliding operations in Australia. This includes the setting and maintenance of flying standards and in particular training standards. It provides services to its members such as:
Regulatory issues covering pilot training, licencing and airworthiness handled under the delegations from the government regulatory body (CASA)
Liaison with government agencies (such as Airservices Australia, particularly in terms of that organisation's airspace management responsibilities
In Australia, glider pilots are exempt from holding pilot licences but the GFA is responsible for the establishment of pilot certificates. These are regarded highly enough by CASA and the aviation industry to be considered as a satisfactory substitute for licences. This however does cause some difficulty to pilots when travelling overseas. From time to time there has been discussion of a more formal licence.
As the inclusion of 'federation' in the name suggests, the GFA is a tiered structure based on regional associations, which are in turn based on gliding clubs. It is only possible to be a member of the GFA if one is also a member of a gliding club which is affiliated to the GFA through the applicable regional association. The five regional associations are
Gliding Queensland (GQ), which covers all of Queensland and the northern New South Wales border region south to Byron Bay