|About The Malta Paragliding Association||
The early attempts of flying Paragliders in Malta are date back to 1990, when sport enthusiast Henry Rota, fed up of flying his Parascending canopy towed by a speedboat, went to England for training and came back with a paraglider. He then started experimenting with short glides from a slope in Marsalforn, Gozo.
It was however only in early 1994 that another sport enthusiast, Enrico Casolari, came to Malta. Together with a group of friends, one fine day he was walking up the Ghajn Tuffieha slopes with his paraglider.
The slope looked so small, compared to Enrico's past high mountain flying abroad, that he was not too keen to fly and his friends had to do a good convincing job. It was only after seeing the nice sea breeze coming straight up to the top of the bay that Enrico half-heartedly decided to give it a try...
As he launched, he was surpised to find that he immediately started gaining height and, to the disbelief of his friends one hour later, he was still soaring high over the bay! That historical flight was soon to be followed by many others and more and more people wanted to take up such a wonderful sport. Henry and Enrico decided then to join forces and to start the first ever Paragliding School in the island.
Soon after, negotiations with Malta DCA started, in order to legalise the Sport in full respect of the limited airspace available in the island. Requirements from DCA were that a Club would have to be formed to take over the responsibility for the running of operations, and that a formal recognition from the British Hang-gliding & Paragliding Association, the BHPA would have to be obtained.
By early 1997, all was in place: Enrico had obtained his Instructor Certification from BHPA, Henry's Paragliding school had therefore gained its official recognition and the MPA had been formed with David Pizzuto elected as a President. At that point, the Paragliding Sport in Malta could finally become an officially recognised activity.
Operations have been running smoothly ever since, with one of the highest safety records, thanks to a number of Regulations issued by the MPA, a detailed survey report of all the flying sites in Malta and Gozo and to some safety features enforced by Enrico. For instance, the use of an airbag and of quick releases has been made compulsory in Malta and it has already proven very effective in preventing accidents.
The MPA is affiliated to the British BHPA, the Italian FIVL and the Malta Olympic Committee and it has gained a solid reputation as the sole governing body for all paragliding activities over the Maltese Islands.
The main Association activities can be summarised as follows: