Skydive Flights and Bookings Are Suspended
The Club is not in a position at this time to conduct flights or accept bookings for skydiving.
This is due to regulatory interference by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
The Club is unable to respond to every single query being received by our members at this time or engage in detailed discussion of matters which are pending before the High Court. New membership are temporarily suspended.
The Club wishes to inform our members of the following matters.
We are a not-for-profit private members club. This means we offer skydiving only to our private members and not to the general public.
Our members agree to a private membership agreement and are not consumers. All members are subject to the Club rules and responsibilities.
All funds generated by our membership go back in to the running and improvement of the Club.
The Club's viability depends 100% on our members continued support. If this is not forthcoming, the Club will have to seek the necessary legal protections under company law to mitigate against becoming insolvent.
Club members are expected to exercise patience and allow your Club to resolve this issue for the benefit of our members.
High Court Permission
The High Court has granted permission to the Club to issue judicial review legal proceedings against the IAA. The Club's legal advisors are rigorously pursuing this matter and we believe it will have a successful outcome.
The IAA has been aware of the Club's position for some time but the IAA has still not filed a response in Court. The IAA recently sought an extension of time to file a reply. The IAA has offered no reason for why an extension of time to make a reply was necessary.
The IAA is aware that this continued delay in allowing this matter to be resolved by the Court is causing significant hardship and disappointment to the Club, its staff and its members and it threatens the viability of the Club.
The IAA has attempted to reposition itself since the Club was granted permission by the High Court.
This is a David v Goliath battle whereby the Club is the tiny entity going up against the full might and resources of the Irish Aviation Authority.
The IAA unilaterally decided in 2015 to cease all regulatory oversight of sport parachuting in Ireland.
This was despite national legislation which the IAA itself had published in 2004 that had remained in legal force which required the IAA to issue permissions for parachuting (S.I. 72 of 2004 Irish Aviation Authority (Rules of the Air) Order, 2004 - rule 7).
The IAA eventually replaced its own legislation in 2019 to write skydiving out of law and the Club does not believe the IAA had the power to do this. The Club has been seeking regulatory audits to be resumed by the IAA since 2015 but the IAA have refused to do so.
The objections made by the Club against this deregulation by the IAA was reported in the national press.
EU law (Commission Regulation (EU) 965 of 2012) requires the IAA to conduct regulatory audits of Club operations for flights for parachuting. The IAA is refusing to carry out any audits of the Club since this law became operative in Ireland in August 2016.
Even when the IAA eventually agreed to conduct an audit of the Club in November 2022 the IAA cancelled this audit on the evening before the audit was due to be conducted.
The IAA is refusing to publish the regulatory oversight programme which it is required to have in place under EU law. The Club has repeatedly requested the IAA to publish that regulatory programme. The IAA is refusing to do so.
The IAA had all winter to properly engage with the Club but the IAA decided to wait until the 2023 skydiving season was about to resume to cause further interference (without notice) which has resulted in this recent and complete suspension of all flights for parachuting.
The regulatory interference by the IAA has occurred without notice to the Club and without the right of participation by the Club being facilitated or respected.
The Club has never before been the subject of regulatory interference of this irregular nature by IAA.
The IAA has made spurious allegations against the Club but is refusing to specify any details. The Club robustly rejects all such allegations. The Club's record for safety and compliance is exceptional.
The Club will not and cannot be expected to accept this improper manner of interference by the IAA.
The Club will rigorously defend its good name and exceptional reputation for safety and compliance.
Club Safety and Compliance Record
The Club is accustomed to proper regulatory oversight by the relevant aviation authority.
The Club has a long and demonstrated history of satisfactory regulatory compliance.
Between 2007 and 2014 the IAA continuously approved the safety checklists, risk assessments and procedures for aircraft flights which the Club continue to adhere to and which we have improved.
The Club safety checks and assessments have proven to be extremely robust and effective.
The Club has never had any aircraft accidents involving skydiving or any other type of flying.
The Club has never been found by the IAA to be non-compliant during or following audits which were lawfully conducted - the last one was conducted in 2014.
The Club has maintained its exceptional record of safety despite the IAA having de-regulated oversight of sport skydiving in Ireland since 2015.
The Club aircraft have always been fully certified, insured and airworthy.
The Club has the best safety record of any parachute club in Ireland since the sport started here in 1956.
IAA Refusal to Investigate Our Complaints
The IAA is refusing to investigate our complaints made against its relevant officials by the Club.
All of our members are affected by this ongoing interference by the IAA.
The skydiving season runs each year from April to October.
The Club will keep our members up to date as these matters progress and the Club will advise our members as soon as skydive bookings can resume. We will also advise when the Club is in a position to resume accepting new memberships.
The Club simply does not know at this time when skydiving will be able to resume with proper regulatory oversight in place by the IAA.
The Club is not in a position to offer refunds to our members.
The Club provides private membership and not consumer vouchers.
The Club expects our members to fully support the Club at this important and difficult time as the Club's future and continued viability wholly depends on our members continued support.
Club memberships that have been adversely affected by this matter will be extended for the same period of time which it has been affected for at no further charge to our members.
However, this is only possible with the continued support by all of our members.
A minority of members have threatened the Club with legal action. This is unhelpful and any such action would only serve to guarantee the total failure of the Club resulting in all of our members losing out. We will have no difficulty in publishing the names of our members who threatens or brings legal action against the Club.
The Club instructors, qualified pilots and staff are foregoing payments or wages at this time as the Club cannot sustain such expense with no current income source.
The Club will be seeking substantial compensation to be paid by the IAA and any compensation that the Club may obtain will be 100% invested back in to the Club for the benefit of our members.
Irish Skydiving Club
31 March 2023
Members Message to the Irish Aviation Authority
We invite our members to show your support and also to tell the Irish Aviation Authority what you think of its regulatory interference: