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. BPA is committed to the Principles of Good Governance for Sport and Recreation. See our Governance page for our governance journey.
BPA plans to change our trading name to British Skydiving, to make it easier for people to understand who we are and what we do.
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.
PA 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.
The BPA Strategic Plan 2018-22 sets out our aims, vision, values and strategic goals.
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.
Agendas and minutes of BPA Council and Committee meetings are published regularly, once they have been approved and ratified.
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 below under AGM for the BPA Annual Report and Accounts and the BPA Review of the Year.
We are funded principally by membership subscriptions.
The agendas and minutes are published on the agendas & minutes page. See also the AGM page.
See the diary of events page for dates and venues.
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.
See the links page for more sport parachuting-related links.
[download icon] What does BPA do for me?