John Aldridge, a retired army officer, started flying hang gliders in 1984 and went on to fly paragliders at the start of the new millennium. He came to prominence in the free flying world when he became meet director of the British Hang Gliding League in 1995 and continued to give freely of his time and talents to organise and run both the British Nationals and British Open Series competitions for the next 13 years.
John served on the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Executive Board as Competition Director from 1996 to 2011. He was the UK delegate to CIVL for 12 years, head of its Sporting Code Sub-committee for 8 years and the CIVL representative on CASI. John was elected as Vice President of CIVL in 2002 and rose to President at the plenary meeting in 2010. He has served as steward to the jury at many FAI World and European Championships in both disciplines of Hang Gliding and Paragliding since 2000 and was also a council member of the Royal Aero Club from 2005 to 2011. John was awarded the BHPA Presidents Trophy in 2011 for conspicuous service to the sport.
In recognition of John’s years of self-less service to the administration of national and international hang gliding and paragliding, he was appointed as an FAI Companion of Honour at the 2012 FAI General Conference.