Chairman’s Welcome

Hello and welcome to the BKFA Website!

Welcome to our much-revised website. We hope that it provides the information you need to help you enjoy flying kites, including your local club, the rules that we are required to follow or the guidance that makes for safe flying.

We hope that the site will provide a valuable reference and resource for all kite fliers and clubs. We have tried to organise the site in a way that will allow you to get to the information you need quickly and easily. The main navigation menu at the top will direct you to the basic categories of information. Some areas are still under development. We would welcome your feedback on the website. We would particularly like to hear of any areas which you feel we should include.

If you want information about the Association itself, follow the entries under “About the BKFA”. Here you will find things such as our History, Constitution, etc. The “Resources” section contains other materials which will be of use to Kite Clubs and organisations. These include a comprehensive suite of guidance documents and policy papers such as our Risk Assessments and Kiteflying Best Practice Code. Please note that these resources are available for anyone who wishes to make use of them. Please feel free to use these as they are, or use them as a base for your own requirements. On the “Kiting Links” tab, you will find links to other useful kiting resources.

We continue to operate in a challenging environment. The headlong rush to legislate for any eventuality of a decade ago seems to have abated thankfully, but that does not take the pressure off all of us to fly safely and to put the safety and health of others above all. Our Risk Assessments and Good Practice Code should assist with this.

In contrast, whereas money to support events used to be reasonably plentiful, the ongoing financial pressure on local authorities has meant most sources have all but dried up. A few enlightened authorities still see the benefits of supporting festivals which are accessible to everyone in society and which provide both entertainment and education for local residents and visitors alike. We can only work to help others see what a ‘green’ and healthy pastime kite flying is. We also need to encourage ‘commercial’ sponsorship into kite flying although that too seems fairly sparse.

One area that continues to exercise us is diversity. In terms of front-line fliers, our sport is far from representative, but I would suggest it is not elitist or exclusive. We do have female fliers although a far smaller proportion than would be required if we were truly reflective of the wider population. BAME (black and minority ethnic) representation is also generally poor.

More worryingly, after an initial flurry of activity with the plastic kite kept in the boot of the family car, few young people seem to be following through to serious kite flying, the exception being kite surfing and other adrenalin elements of our sport. We would love to hear your views on why this might be.

Importantly, we see very poor representation in club committees and in the BKFA Council. I am determined to try and change this.

Thanks to the support of Howden UK Group Limited (formerly known as Perkins Slade), we continue to make insurance available to member clubs and their members as a benefit of belonging to the BKFA.

We have recently completed a detailed analysis of the rules governing kite flying produced by the CAA and EASA. We are grateful for the assistance of the CAA. Those documents can be found on the website by following Kite Flying Resources -> CAP 393. As a result of that work we have identified a number of fairly specific issues about the way the rules work, particularly in respect of kites weighing more than 2kg. We will be following these up with the CAA.

We are also here for media and other enquiries. Please use our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Do please remember that BKFA is an entirely volunteer run organisation and so emails are not necessarily read the moment they arrive: we do aim to respond within 24 hours.

We will continue our membership of Sport & Recreation and the Royal Aero Club. Both provide useful access for us on behalf of kite fliers to a number of resources.

Kite flying in all its forms is fun. All of us are kite fliers and we recognise that the greatest joy can be found on a pleasant day at the end of a kite line. BKFA will continue to do what it can to enable all of you to enjoy your flying.

Keep the wind behind you, a smile on your face and joy in your heart, and enjoy your kite flying.

Jerry Swift
BKFA Chairman

November 2017