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Contest Site Selection and Development

The Contest Site Selection and Development Committee is tasked with finding and developing new contest locations across the USA and the selection of contest sites for the National Championships.

FAI and Sports Class National Contests

The following are among the criteria that will be considered by the SSA National Contest Site Selection and Development Committee when evaluating bids for hosting National Soaring Contests. Bids should indicate which apply and explain where applicable.

Overall Site

  • Rotation of National Contests among different sites within a zone
  • Soaring conditions that meet National tasking requirements
  • Match to the next World Championships weather and topography


Conditions of Use

  • Exclusive use of the airport for the contest
  • Manageable conflict with power traffic
  • Local rules that affect glider operations (explain)
  • Supportive airport management
  • Auto towing of gliders to grid acceptable

Glider/Trailer Tiedowns

  • Sufficient area
  • Marked (stakes or other)
  • Handy to grid


  • Adequate length and width considering conditions and weakest towplanes
  • Runway lights removed or not a factor
  • Adequate relight capability
  • Towplane landing and taxi capability
  • Room for vehicles near grid
  • Crosswind runway available
  • Adequate rope break options

Operating Considerations

  • Water Ballast capability (at least four outlets and hoses, adequate pressure and capacity)
  • Start/Finish Gate location (handy, sufficient shade)
  • Start window location (not looking into sun)
  • Oxygen charging facility (if required) (reasonable cost)
  • Battery charging outlets available
  • Food service (esp. lunch) available on airport
  • Indoor Pilot Meeting space
  • Photo developing capability
  • Office Space (CD, scorer, retrieve office)
  • Phone lines (at least two)
  • Computer(s) for scoring, GPS verification and weather
  • Air conditioned office for computers if hot weather
  • Copier


  • Enough to launch the fleet in one hour every day (typically one towplane per 6.5 gliders, take into account need to tow higher than 2000' if required)
  • All towplanes capable of towing gliders with full legal ballast
  • Backup plan in case of towplane problem
  • Sufficient new towropes (one per towplane plus two spares)
  • Towplane fuel available
  • Aero retrieve arrangements

Task Area

  • Off field landing options
  • Airspace restrictions not excessive or confusing
  • Ease of trailer retrieves
  • Cellular phone coverage
  • Specify if soaring conditions may go above 18000' (barographs required)

Contest Organization

  • Past contest experience and reputation
  • Adequate staffing
  • Cooperation from local aviation authorities and groups
  • Task area map and turnpoint list available
  • Turnpoint books per the rules and of good quality
  • Number of local soaring pilots

Camping Facilities on Airport

  • Sufficient area, sheltered (shaded and grass desirable)
  • Two showers minimum
  • Toilets/Porta-potties
  • RV hookups
  • RV dump capability within reasonable distance

Local Area

  • Sufficient motel availability at reasonable cost
  • Restaurant availability with reasonable cost and variety
  • Recreation options
  • Ease of access by Interstate or commercial airline
  • Off airport campgrounds

Posted: 7/12/2007

Contest Committee; Site Selection and Development 

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