The government publishes a draft national air sports policy

The government on Sunday released a draft national policy for air sports in the country that will require entities providing these services and their equipment to be registered, as well as to be subject to sanctions.

The policy proposes a two-tier governance structure for air sports in the country, which will include a supreme governing body called the Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) and associations for each air sport. It will cover activities such as aerobatics, model aircraft, hobbyist and experimental aircraft, hot air ballooning, drones, gliding, hang gliding, paragliding, ULM, paramotor, parachuting and airplanes. period.

ASFI will be an autonomous body reporting to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and will represent India to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) headquartered in Lausanne and other global platforms related to air sports. It will provide governance for various aspects of air sports including regulation, certification, competitions, awards and sanctions, etc.

Each air sports association will establish its safety standards for equipment, infrastructure, personnel and training, and specify the disciplinary action to be taken in the event of non-compliance. Failure to do so may result in criminal prosecution by ASFI.

All persons and entities providing air sports services will be required to register as members of the respective air sports associations. Key equipment used should also be registered.

It is proposed that popular aerial sports attractions in the country, such as Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, Gangtok in Sikkim, Hadapsar in Maharashtra and Vagamon in Kerala, may be declared a “control area” for aerial sports in order to ensure the safety of other piloted aircraft.

Schools and colleges will be encouraged to include air sports in their curriculum and their students will have the opportunity to participate in FAI international competitions.

The draft policy also aims to promote the domestic design, development and manufacture of air sports equipment under the framework of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan; waive import rights on equipment for a few years; and ask the GST Council to consider rationalizing the GST rate on air sports equipment to 5% or less.

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