Paragliding for dummies APPI : votre passeport parapente

Last update : 22/06/2022

How APPI was born

David Arrufat is the instructor who introduced paragliding in Nepal. He is the co-founder of the "Blue Sky" school in 2001.
He trains pilots on the spot (Nepalese and foreigners), some of them become in turn "assistant instructors" and instructors.

Whatever the level, he intends to formalize and structure the paragliding syllabus. It is therefore inspired by what it knows. It can be said that APPI is primarily inspired by Swiss and French training. However, the curriculum is not set in stone: it is updated regularly and is inspired by best practices from around the world.

This being said, the paragliding program is not set in stone: it is updated regularly and is inspired by best practices from around the world. 

APPI : your passport to learn how to paraglide

The acronym APPI stands for "Association of Paragliding Pilots and Instructors".
This non-governmental organization (NGO) has been in existence since 2009, and its headquarters are located in Switzerland.

It is an international system for learning and teaching paragliding. It does not pretend to replace the national federations, when they exist, but it is sometimes the only alternative in some countries.
Better still, in some countries, the authorities that manage paragliding activities use APPI as an official training system and therefore recognize APPI qualifications for recreational or professional pilots.
In any case, it is the assurance of having a unified learning system regardless of the country where it is taught.

For a student, it is the guarantee that the instructor or the school with this label, presents all the requirements of quality and safety. You can start your training during your stay in Mexico, and continue it in Colombia, Nepal, Greece, following the same curriculum. However, if you return to your country of origin and APPI is not recognized (it happens), you may need to have your training validated by a local school. It all depends on the country.

Let's take a parallel: You learn to how to scuba-dive, the standard will surely be PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

The same applies for kiteboarding: the standard would be IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization).

The International Aeronautical Federation (FAI) has delegated APPI to issue IPPI cards (International Pilot Proficiency Certificate) for the following countries: Mexico, India, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and the United Arab Emirates, and the list of countries where APPI is recognized continues to grow.

Ultimately, APPI ensures that both students and instructors follow best practices.

There are different levels depending on your progress, and you will need to validate the practical as well as the theoretical part of paragliding training.
The validation of the theory part is done online. 

APPI workshops : for professionals

For professionals, workshops exist, that allow you to compare and enrich your knowledge, and eventually be signed off (tandem pilot, assistant instructor, instructor).

Having participated in such workshops, I can tell you that it is very interesting.
Be prepared for some intense days! When you get out of there, you will finally know how to read an sounding / skew-t diagram, or check a wing pitch, even if you are in the middle of nowhere.

You will enhance your skills, and potentially embrace new opportunities. Thanks to a first workshop in Colombia, I went to Nepal to teach in the winter, and then to Mexico.

The new APPI website is available at


This video is a little dated but it explains the concept quite well:



Parapentiste depuis plus de 20 ans, je suis le créateur de ce site. Moniteur à l'école de parapente des Grands Espaces paragliding school, j'aurais peut-être le plaisir de vous faire survoler le lac d'Annecy en parapente. Je migre l'hiver à Valle de Bravo (Mexique). Hasta pronto ! More info

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