Aviation authority grounds Canterbury glider company

Stunning views soaring over Lake Ohau.
Glide Omarama is suspending operations. Photo: ODT files
Glide Omarama will suspend all of its services from mid-April after demands from the Civil Aviation Authority to change how it operates.

In a statement, Glide Omarama managing director Gavin Wills said the company had been told it was required by the CAA under its rules to ''re-certify its operations'' from being a recreational aviation organisation to an organisation conducting adventure aviation, and to ''re-licence'' its pilots and instructors accordingly.

He said the process was expected to take several months to complete and as a result the company had made the decision to suspend all operations from April 15.

Bookings up to April 14 would be honoured, but bookings between April 15 and August 31 would be refunded or rescheduled, Mr Wills said.

However, bookings were being taken for the company's soaring school and trial flights scheduled from September 1.

Mr Wills said the company found itself in a difficult situation.

''Glide Omarama regrets any inconvenience this suspension may cause to Club members, glider pilots and visitors.

''Throughout the period of self-suspension our office, phones, web site and email will remain live.

''Thank you all for understanding and for your support to the Glide Omarama team at this difficult time.''

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