Site Development and Retention

Who’s Responsible for sites?

Everyone. We all need to ensure sites are available, safe, sustainable, and not at risk of loss.

SAFA role

The ‘SAFA’ board does not directly participate in site management. (The committee are also pilots that volunteer their time, and cannot manage the sites you fly, this is best achieved by Regional Associations (RAs), local clubs and regular users.)


Regional Associations (RAs) and affiliated clubs are responsible for the retention, development and management of flying sites.

The role of Regional Associations (RAs)

The role of affiliated Clubs

Role of pilots and individuals

What does this really mean if you want to open a new site? It means that grassroots, user pilots need to scout for, assess and open new sites. Help can be sought from fellow pilots, clubs, RA’s and SAFA documentary resources.

Opening a new site?

Your country needs you!

Now it becomes an interesting exercise......

We have all seen ‘the ideal spot and we should open a site here’, or perhaps have gotten a lead from the March/April 2020 Skysailor article ‘Site Discovery by GIS’ written by Gareth Carter.

There are many, many, establishment considerations (where all the work is required) followed by the implementation work (more work), not to mention ‘who’s going to pay for it!’

Guidelines, advice, and helpful considerations are detailed in the SAFA document entitled ‘Biosecurity, Site Management & Land Owner Information’.

There is lots of good stuff there to help you, gleaned from many members over the years. Fortunately not all will be applicable to the location you are scouting.

Where to get funding?

Need site funding? Talk to your club and RA committees.

Regional Development Levies (RDL) are set by RA’s, and collected by SAFA for the use and distribution by the RA’s for regional projects, including retention & development of existing and new sites. Contact or see RA websites for details on how to access these funds. The SAFA as a body does not directly control any site nor does it usually provide any direct funding to sites. While there is always an interest in developing and maintaining access to all sites, the management, development and procurement of sites is better conducted by, and at, club and RA level.