Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
British Parachute Association (BPA) was founded in 1961 and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, British Parachute Association Limited, in 1966.
We are a democratic, not-for-profit organisation of individuals whose purpose is to organise, govern and further the advancement of sport parachuting in the UK.
BPA has no shareholders - we are a 'third sector' body owned and run by our Members. Our governing instrument is the BPA Articles of Association.
BPA's Articles of Association were updated by a special resolution of the AGM held on Saturday 30 January 2016 as part of the good governance initiative to implement best practice in the constitution of National Governing Bodies of Sport. This is in accordance with the Voluntary Code of Good Governance for the Sport & Recreation Sector. It will be reflected in the new UK Sports Governance Code that is expected to come into effect in 2017.
Our Chair is Martin Soulsby and our Chief Operating Officer is Tony Butler.
BPA is governed by an elected Council. Elected Council Members are drawn from, and nominated and elected by, the voting (full) Members of BPA. Council Members are the Directors of BPA Ltd. BPA represents most UK skydivers and the majority of skydivers within the UK are members of the Association. BPA has signed up to the Voluntary Code of Good Governance for the Sport and Recreation Sector.
In 2017 we transitioned to a new composition of Council, for the first time including two independent directors from outside our sport. This is in line with the principles of good governance - see our governance page for more.
BPA controls all aspects of skydiving on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Prior to 1984, parachuting from an aircraft in flight was prohibited in the United Kingdom (other than in an emergency) and could be conducted only under the terms of exemptions from the Air Navigation Order. With the Air Navigation (Second Amendment) Order 1983, effective from 31 January 1984, parachuting became a permitted activity, subject to the grant by the CAA of a written permission, and in accordance with appropriate conditions specified in such CAA permission documents.
A comprehensive parachuting manual was required, incorporating various provisions relating to aircraft and operational safety procedures. In 1996, BPA first produced, and has since updated, its Exposition and Schedule of CAA Approval and its appendices to meet this requirement.
BPA maintains and promotes the highest standards of safety and training in the sport. We encourage participation and promote excellence at all levels of skydiving from rookie to world class competitor.
For more see BPA Form 224: About BPA (use the Search Forms box in the header to this page). Also see the Chair's Review of the previous year, in the AGM section below.
Each year sees publication of a BPA Action Plan by Council covering the work of the Communications, Competitions and Development Committeees. The Action Plan runs for the period of the BPA financial year, from 1 July to 30 June. For the current year's Action Plan targets in each of these areas, and progress to date, please refer to the relevant Committee's agendas and minutes.
BPA has a membership of around 6,400 full members and around 60,000 students each year. See Form 269 Categories of membership (use the Search Forms box in the header to this page). Only full members are voting members, who elect the elected members of BPA Council and appoint the independent directors on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee of Council, may vote at general meetings such as the AGM. There are around 28 BPA Affiliated Parachute Training Organisations (PTOs).
See the BPA Annual Report (below) for BPA facts & figures for the previous membership year.
The Association is funded principally by membership subscriptions.
See the diary of events page for dates and venues.
The Council employs a small staff to help to carry out its policy, headed by Tony Butler, Chief Operating Officer.
British Parachute Association is a Member of the of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, which is the UK National Airsports Control (NAC) of the World Air Sports Federation (Federation Aeronautique Internationale). BPA nominates the UK Delegate and Alternate Delegate to the FAI's International Parachuting Commission.
BPA is a member of the General Aviation Alliance (GAA), the General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC), the General Aviation Safety Council (GASCo) and the Sport and Recreation Alliance. See the links page for more sport parachuting-related links.
Updated 15 February 2018