The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you're planning to visit a country in the European Union (EU), your existing European Health Insurance Card can still be used to gain access to state healthcare up to its expiry date. If your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has expired, or you don't have an EHIC, you will need to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
Using your EHIC or GHIC
An EHIC or GHIC covers state healthcare, not private treatment. With an EHIC or GHIC you can get emergency or necessary medical care for the same cost as a resident in the country you're visiting. This means that you can get healthcare at a reduced cost or for free. Further information about what your card covers in each EU country is available on the European Union website.
An EHIC or GHIC is not however a replacement for travel insurance, and will not cover everything. For example it will not cover mountain rescue or being flown back to the UK (medical repatriation). You should therefore make sure you also have suitable travel insurance, and that it includes health cover for the activities you are planning to undertake.
The International Pilot Proficiency Information Card provides a standard reference by which all national rating programs may be compared. When you travel abroad this card, together with your BHPA membership/rating card, gives flying site managers, instructors and others responsible for hang gliding and/or paragliding flight operations an easy way of verifying your pilot experience level prior to approval of flight activities.
The IPPI system works by converting your BHPA pilot rating into the equivalent Safe Pro and/or Para Pro rating (training systems developed by a Norwegian but not widely used). Note that Safe Pro is for hang gliding and Para Pro is for paragliding.
The tables below set out the Safe Pro and/or Para Pro stage that will be shown on your IPPI card.
Safe Pro Stage 5 *: To obtain a hang gliding IPPI 5 rating with only a Pilot rating, applicants must submit a statement from a Club Chairman/Club Chief Coach/CFI confirming that they have checked the pilot's logbooks and are satisfied that he or she has a total of at least 50 flying hours on hang gliders and has completed at least 5 cross-country flights in various types of lift (flights conducted solely in ridge lift or along the same ridge do not count).
Para Pro Stage 5 **: To obtain a paragliding IPPI 5 rating with only a Pilot rating, applicants must submit a statement from a Club Chairman/Club Chief Coach/CFI confirming that they have checked the pilot's logbooks and are satisfied that he or she has a total of at least 50 flying hours on paragliders and has completed at least 5 cross-country flights in various types of lift (flights conducted solely in ridge lift or along the same ridge do not count).
Obtaining an IPPI Card
Please download an IPPI Application Form and return the completed form to the BHPA office. The current fee for issuing an IPPI card is £.
Please note: The IPPI scheme only applies to hill pilots. IPPI cards cannot be issued to tow pilots unless they hold the appropriate "hill" endorsement.
Additional information for pilots flying in Europe:
Flying in the Italian Dolomites
In the last few years there have been serious problems in the Italian Dolomites, particularly the Canazei-Col Rodella-Pordoi-Marmolada area. The FIVL have therefore put the following rules in place to improve the situation:
Pilots should note that a hovering helicopter may not have reached its target; it may be waiting for pilots to clear the area. Flying in the Dolomites is under serious threat if these rules are not adhered to. Any damage or danger to rescue helicopters caused by free fliers will see the Dolomites area closed to us. The BHPA fully supports the FIVL and hopes that pilots will co-operate so that the sites can be preserved for all.
Pilots attending courses for post CP training (eg. XC courses and SIV training) should satisfy themselves as to the quality of instruction on offer. There are no BHPA instructor qualifications or training syllabi for these activities. For further information please download our leaflets on SIV courses and Training for qualified pilots.
Last updated: 24 February 2021