India As Global Air Sports Hub: Ministry Of Civil Aviation Releases Draft Policy For Public Feedback

Snapshot

The draft National Air Sports Policy covers sports like aerobatics, aeromodelling, amateur-built and experimental aircraft, ballooning, drones, gliding, hang gliding and paragliding; micro lighting and paramotoring; skydiving and vintage aircraft.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has released the draft National Air Sports Policy (NASP) for public feedback. The draft policy is available on the website of the Ministry.

“India has the potential to be among the leading nations in the world of air sports. The country has a large geographical expanse, diverse topography and fair weather conditions along with has a large population, especially the youth. Also, India has a growing culture for adventure sports and aviation,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

It opined that 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.

According to the government, creating air sports hubs across the country will also bring in international air sports professionals and tourists.

“The Government of India, therefore, plans to promote the country’s air sports sector, by way of making it safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable,” the Ministry added.

To achieve this goal of making India an air sports hub, systems and processes need to be simplified and made more transparent; focus on quality, safety and security need to be enhanced; and investments in infrastructure, technology, training and awareness building need to be facilitated.

The Ministry said that the draft National Air Sports Policy (NASP 2022) has been drafted on the basis of the inputs received from policymakers, air sports practitioners and the public at large. It termed the draft policy as an evolving document and will be modified from time to time.

Highlights Of Draft National Air Sports Policy

NASP 2022 covers sports like aerobatics, aeromodelling, amateur-built and experimental aircraft, ballooning, drones, gliding, hang gliding and paragliding; micro lighting and paramotoring; skydiving and vintage aircraft.

An Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) will be established as the apex governing body. Associations for each air sport will handle day to day activities e.g. Paragliding Association of India or Skydiving Association of India etc. And the air sports associations shall be accountable to ASFI with respect to the regulatory oversight and for providing safe conduct of their respective air sport.

Besides plans to promote domestic design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment, the policy also plans for allowing import of air sports equipment without any import duty for a particular number of years.

Also, NASP 2022 envisions the inclusion of air sports into the curriculum of schools, colleges and universities. 

According to the draft policy, an airspace map of India has been published on DGCA’s DigitalSky Platform. The map segregates the entire airspace of India into the red zone, yellow zone and green zone. Air sports practitioners may rely on this easily accessible map for guidance, the draft policy noted.