The Ministry of Civil Aviation has released a draft National Air Sports Policy (NASP) that will require entities providing these services and their equipment to be registered, as well as be liable for penalties.
About Air Sports
- Air sports, as the names suggests, encompasses various sports activities involving the medium of air. These include sports like air-racing, aerobatics, aeromodelling, hang gliding, paragliding, paramotoring and skydiving etc.
- India has the potential to be among the leading nations in the world of air sports. It has a large geographical expanse, diverse topography and fair weather conditions. It has a large population, especially the youth. It has a growing culture for adventure sports and aviation.
- Other than the direct revenue from air sports activities, the multiplier benefits in terms of growth of travel, tourism, infrastructure and local employment, especially in hilly areas of the country, are several times greater. Creation of air sports hubs across the country will also bring in air sports professionals and tourists from across the world.
- The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland is the world governing body for air sports. Founded on 14 October 1905, it sets standards, organizes events and maintains global records. FAI has over 100 members.
- The Government of India plans to promote the country’s air sports sector, by way of making it safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable. Systems and processes need to be simplified and made more transparent; focus on quality, safety and security needs to be enhanced; and investments in infrastructure, technology, training and awareness building need to be facilitated.
- The draft National Air Sports Policy (NASP 2022) is a step in this direction. It has been drafted on the basis of the inputs received from policy makers, air sports practitioners and public at large. It is an evolving document and will be modified from time to time.
About National Air Sports Policy:
- The policy proposes a two-tier governance structure for air sports in the country, which will include an apex governing body called the Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) and associations for each air sport.
- The ASFI will be an autonomous body under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and will represent India at the Lausanne (Switzerland)-headquartered Fédération Aéronaautique Internationale (FAI) and other global platforms related to air sports.
- It will provide governance over various aspects of air sports, including regulation, certification, competitions, awards and penalties, etc.
- Each air sports association will lay down its safety standards for equipment, infrastructure, personnel and training, and specify the disciplinary actions to be taken in case of non-compliance. Inability to do so may lead to penal action by the ASFI.
- It is proposed that popular air sports attractions in the country such as Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, Gangtok in Sikkim, Hadapsar in Maharashtra and Vagamon in Kerala can be declared as a “control zone” for air sports in order to ensure the safety of other manned aircraft.
To make India as one of the top air sports nations by 2030.
To provide a safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable air sports ecosystem in India.
The key objectives of NASP 2022 include the following:
- Promote an air sports culture in the country.
- Adopt international best practices in safety including but not limited to, air sports infrastructure, equipment, operations, maintenance and training.
- Develop India as a preferred global hub for air sports.
- Develop a simple, stakeholder-friendly and effective governance structure.
- Enhance participation and success of Indian sportspersons in global air sports events.
- Promote design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment in India in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
The coverage of NASP 2022 will include the following air sports:
- Amateur-built and experimental aircraft
- Hang gliding and paragliding
- Microlighting and paramotoring
- Vintage aircraft
- Schools and colleges will be encouraged to include air sports in their curriculum and their students will have the opportunity to participate in the FAI’s international competitions.
- India has the potential to be among the leading nations in the world of air sports. It has a large geographical expanse, diverse topography and fair weather conditions.
- It has a large population, especially the youth. It has a growing culture for adventure sports and aviation.
- Other than the direct revenue from air sports activities, the multiplier benefits in terms of growth of travel, tourism, infrastructure and local employment, especially in hilly areas of the country, are several times greater.
- Creation of air sports hubs across the country will also bring in air sports professionals and tourists from across the world.
Government Initiatives for Sports Development
- Khelo India Scheme.
- National Sports Development Fund.
- The National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) Scheme.
- Sports Authority of India Training Centres Scheme (STC).
- Special Area Games (SAG) Scheme.
- Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
- Khelo India Youth Games
Source: The Hindu