Sports Aviation Operations Suspended in Far North Queensland Cairns Region

After careful thought and consideration, the Cairns Hang Gliding Club (CHGC) announces that flying operations are suspended in the Cairns Region from midnight on 1 April 2020 (NO, NOT APRIL FOOLS!). There has been debate in our community about the moral and social impacts of flying during the coronavirus crisis and this was discussed as a matter of upmost priority at the 1/4/2020 CHGC meeting, and the motion was presented and passed that all flying activities in this region, Rex Lookout and The Gilles, be suspended until further notice. 

On the evening of 29 Mar 2020 the Prime Minister announced measures to protect the community. National and local Government authorities are putting in place, and enforcing, stricter social distancing measures.

In particular, the measures direct that a person must not leave their place of residence without a reasonable excuse and observe a 1.5m social distancing rule. We do not believe that flying operations would be viewed as a reasonable excuse and may lead to situations were persons are not observing the 1.5m rule. Flight related accidents may place undue stress on medical services already under pressure in these trying times. Some have considered that our operations, namely flying, might be considered exercise and therefore be interpreted to mean a reasonable excuse. While this may be debatable, we urge all pilots to avoid trying to interpret the directives in a way which might suit their desire to fly but is in effect counter to the intent.

Of equal concern is that the measures direct the closure of certain premises. Our flying sites would meet the definition of ‘community facilities’ and will often attract a crowd. This would expose all of us and spectators. Also, please be very aware, as the CHGC has suspended all flying, any flight would be unlawful and any insurances through SAFA would be void.

We understand that this suspension will deeply affect those of us who are very keen to fly. But, once this virus storm has passed we are all looking forward to resuming ‘normal’ operations.


  • Flying operations includes paragliding and hang gliding.
  • The Far North Queensland Cairns Region, covers those sites administered by The Cairns Hang Gliding Club, Rex Lookout and The Gilles.
Rex Lookout, flights suspended until further notice.

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