India is gifted with a staggering Geography suitable for any kind of sports. The uneven population distribution provides incredible space for Air Sports to flourish in the country. Now, the Modi government has decided to tap into Air Sports’ potential as our country looks set to become a global Air Sports hub in the upcoming decade.
India to promote Air Sports
The civil aviation Ministry has released a framework for utilizing the Air Sports potential of India. The documentation of the framework has been named as draft National Air Sports Policy (NASP). It will enable a regulatory mechanism for air sports in India. NASP provides for registration, cancellation as well as penalties for entities engaged in providing these sporting services and infrastructure facilities.
NASP provides for a cooperative structure for the regulation of Air Sports in India. The cooperative arrangement will be achieved by establishing a governing body at the top. The name of the governing body will be the Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI). It will be coordinating with all other associations of respective air sports active in India.
ASFI-Powers and functions
- ASFI will be an autonomous body under the Ministry of Civil aviation. That means that it will be a relatively independent body on the vision of the Modi government’s ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’.
- ASFI will be the body that will be representing India at global platforms related to Air Sports.
- ASFI will be monitoring all aspects of Air Sports on the lines of guidelines set by Lausanne (Switzerland)-headquartered Fédération Aéronaautique Internationale (FAI).
- It will be governing various other aspects of Air Sports. These include regulation, certification, competitions, awards, and penalties, etc.
AFSI will be monitoring regional associations
Any person, company, or any other entity involved in providing facilities for Air Sports will be mandatorily required to be registered under regional air sports associations. These associations will be required to lay down their own safety guidelines for equipment, infrastructure, personnel, and training. These guidelines will be in accordance with those set by FAI.
Failure to meet these guidelines will invite penal provisions from AFSI. Moreover, AFSI has the power to suspend or dismiss any authority of associations not following the pre-set guidelines.
AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT engrained in promotion of AIR SPORTS
Not just associations and personnel, equipments used will be required to be registered with the respective air sports associations. These equipments include tools being used for various sports like aerobatics, aeromodelling, ballooning, drones, gliding, hang gliding, paragliding, and skydiving. Moreover, the Domestic design, development, and manufacturing of these products will be in line with the AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT initiative by Modi Government.
Air Sports is one of the most underutilised sporting sectors of India. In spite of having diverse topography, large geographical expanse, and fair-weather conditions; very few Indian enthusiasts are able to satisfy their passion for sports. The absence of a proper body means that they have to pay a heavy financial price for fulfilling their adventure. This has resulted in Air Sports having a perception of being elite’s sports.
However, the last few years have witnessed Air sports emerging as a prevailing theme for tourists. Young and high-earning people bored with the concrete jungles of modern life are taking up air sports as a method to satisfy their adventurous instincts. This has led to significant growth in travel, tourism, infrastructure, and local employment, especially in hilly areas. The establishment of AFSI is expected to skyrocket this growth.