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Draft National Air Sports Policy

  • 03 Jan 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Initiatives related to Sports in India, About ASFI and FAI.

For Mains: Sports Development Policies in India, Significance of National Air Sports Policy.

Why in News

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.

Key Points

  • About:
    • 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.
  • Activities Covered:
    • It will cover activities like aerobatics, aeromodelling, amateur-built and experimental aircraft, ballooning, drones, gliding, hang gliding, paragliding, microlighting, paramotoring, skydiving, and vintage aircraft.
  • Objectives:
    • The vision of the policy is to make India one of the top air sports nations by 2030.
    • It envisages to promote the country's air sports sector, by way of making it safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable.
    • The policy seeks to leverage India's potential for air sports and places a strong focus on ensuring international best practices in safety.
    • It aims to promote domestic design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan; waive import duty on equipment for a few years; as well as request the GST Council to consider rationalising the GST rate on air sports equipment to 5% or less.
  • Significance:
    • 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

Source: TH

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