What is PASA?
The Professional Airsports Association (PASA) is a nonprofit organization created as a trade association for the airsports industry to help businesses. Originally founded to offer information on the industries of Hang Gliding, Paragliding, Kitesurfing, Ultralight Flying and Parasailing with the intention of creating industry standards for operations, procedures and safety. Acceptance and adherence to these standards became the basis for certification. With industry standards and certifications in place, options for insurance became available and utilized. Now, PASA is called on to expand it’s certification system to certify hang gliding and paragliding schools so that insurance will be available and as affordable as possible.
Is PASA part of the RRG or the USHPA?
No, PASA is an independent organization that was founded in 1997. It is not directly connected to either the RRG or the USHPA. PASA does have a non-voting seat on the PASA board for the sitting President of the USHPA for the purpose of organizational liaison. Also, because of the legal makeup of an RRG, anyone who purchases insurance through the RRG must become a shareholder of the RRG because the RRG is a member-run organization. With that in mind, PASA will be a small shareholder in the RRG.
Does PASA sell insurance?
No. PASA is not an insurance seller or reseller. Hang Gliding and Paragliding School insurance will be available through the RRG – partially because of the standards that are being put into place and monitored by PASA. Because the smallest policy of this insurance is expensive, PASA will be purchasing a master policy from the RRG and will provide access to this policy to it’s Small Business Flight School (SBFS) members – who will be listed as additionally insured on that policy – as a benefit of membership. The RRG is the primary provider of insurance for the Free Flight industry.
So, this is all about insurance? What is the current situation?
You can read about the current state of free flight insurance and the RRG at freeflightforever.org.
I have a free flight school. What is the quick version of how I get insurance.
The folks at the RRG have done some estimates and it estimates that if you teach more than 200 Student Lesson Days per year, then you may be best off accessing the RRGs insurance options by dealing directly with the RRG. If you teach less than 200 SLDs per year, then the SBFS membership option of PASA is likely your best choice.
Once you have determined your insurance needs as a school, you will need to apply to PASA for certification, be approved for certification, buy your insurance from the RRG if you are a Large Business Flight School (LBFS) or choose your level of membership in PASA as a SBFS. After you have done so, you will be issued your PASA certification.
I need to get insurance for my chapter or flying site. Do I get that from PASA?
No, your ‘non-school’ insurance needs should start with the RRG. PASA only certifies free flight schools and provides membership that (in the case of a small school) provides access to the RRG’s insurance.
You say that ‘small schools’ (SBFS) can get RRG benefits through PASAs membership. Why wouldn’t all schools want to get RRG benefits through PASA membership?
The cost of buying insurance directly from the RRG (as opposed to it being a benefit of membership) is not affordable to the small school which teaches a small number of students annually. Once a school gets larger – the most cost effective manner of having insurance is to buy a policy directly from the RRG. Each larger school’s insurance journey should begin with the RRG to determine the best path for that school to take. If you know that you teach less than 200 SLDs per year, then you should checkout PASAs webpage for the Small Business Flight School.
How much does it cost from my school to get certified by PASA?
Every school wishing to become PASA certified must pay a one-time (nonrefundable) application fee of $300 to cover the administrative costs of PASA reviewing and approving the application. The PASA application requirements can be seen and downloaded HERE. Once the school has been approved for certification by PASA, that school will choose to go either the Large Business Flight School or Small Business Flight School route and then receive PASA certification.
How much are annual membership dues in PASA?
The LBFS pays $500 in membership dues to PASA annually to maintain it’s membership. The LBFS’s insurance needs are then met by the RRG.
The SBFS’s membership dues are based on the SBFS’s business activity level. See the SBFS section of the website to determine those dues. The SBFS has access to the RRG’s insurance as a benefit of it’s PASA membership and there is no additional premium that must be paid to the RRG for insurance since it’s included as a membership benefit for the SBFS.
How much will insurance cost my Large Business Flight School?
You will need to consult with the RRG to decide the level of insurance and it’s cost that is best for you. PASA does not sell insurance.
How much will insurance cost my Small Business Flight School?
PASA does not sell insurance, however as a benefit of membership in PASA, the SBFS has access to PASAs master liability policy. The SBFS’s membership dues are based on it’s business level. Go here for more information about the SBFS membership options.
I’m an instructor and not associated with any school. Can I get certified by PASA?
PASA does not certify individual instructors – only schools. Individual instructors will need to form a school. This is considered a Small Business Flight School (SBFS).
Tell me the actual steps to take in becoming a PASA certified School
As of this writing (mid march 2016) we are in the process of automating the application process. We expect the automation to be complete by the date which will start taking application – April 1st. A school that is wanting to become PASA certified should become familiar with all the needed qualifications and paperwork that will need to be submitted to PASA. Once the automated application process is available, each school will be able to go online and answer PASA’s questions and upload the paperwork that we require. If you have access to a scanner, it may be a good idea to scan in the documents ahead of time that you can see are required by PASA for certification. If you don’t have access to a scanner, then a high quality photo of a document will suffice in many cases.
How Do I contact the RRRG?
You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org