Accelerating in the direction of making India one of the top air sports nations by 2030, the Union ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) declared the country’s first national air sports policy (NASP 2022), facilitating a new era in aero sports for India.

The NASP, will have air sports such as aerobatics, aeromodelling, model rocketry, amateur-built and experimental aircraft, ballooning, drones, gliding and powered gliding, hang-gliding and powered hang-gliding, parachuting (including skydiving, BASE jumping and wingsuit flying), paragliding and paramotoring (including powered parachute trikes), powered aircraft and rotorcraft.

“The youth of India represent the future of aero sports. Programmes aimed at raising interest in aerial sports will be encouraged.

Schools, colleges, and universities will be encouraged to have air sports included in the curriculum,” Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated.

The Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) will be the pinnacle governing body for this initiative.

“The ASFI will publish its draft guidelines within six months of the date of publication of NASP 2022 after consulting with stakeholders. This federation will be chaired by civil aviation ministry secretary Rajiv Bansal,” the policy cited.

“The ASFI will be an autonomous body, and will present India at the Fédération aéronautique internationale (FAI) and other global platforms related to air sports. It will provide governance over all aspects of air sports, including regulation, certification, competitions, awards, and penalties,” MoCA stated.

The national air sports associations will be responsible to ASFI to make sure safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable manage of their respective sporting activities.

The MoCA further stated that sports associations will handle all regulatory matters related to safety, training, licencing, and airworthiness. They will also work with the air traffic control authorities for safe operations, apace with other manned or unmanned flights.

“The long-term funding for development of air sports in India shall come from corporate investors, sponsors, membership fees, events, and media rights… All air sports competitions in India will be conducted as per guidelines laid down by FAI, wherever applicable,” the policy cited.

The policy also read that, “a person, or an associated person, involved in an accident will inform the concerned air sports association in writing, along with a copy to the ASFI, no later than 48 hours after an incident.”

“Inability to enforce adequate safety standards by an air sports association may lead to penal action by the ASFI against such association, including financial penalties, suspension or dismissal,” the policy read.

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