The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation released the National Air Sport Policy 2022.
What activities are classified as air sports?
- The National Air Sport Policy 2022, lists 11 games under this category.
- These include aerobatics, aero modelling and rocketry, ballooning, amateur-built and experimental aircraft, drones, gliding and power gliding, hand gliding and power hand gliding, parachuting, paragliding and paramotoring, powered aircraft and rotor aircraft.
- In India, the small-sized industry is currently worth about Rs 80 crore and has 5,000 practitioners according to the government.
- Air sports are managed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) around the world. Headquartered in Switzerland, the FAI is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
- It sets standards, organises events and has over 100 members.
What does the National Air Sport Policy 2022 propose?
- The NASP, 2022, aims to create a structure that would help “promote the country’s air sports sector, by way of making it safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable.”
- It includes safety mandates, penalties for violating those norms.
- Its vision is making India “one of the top air sports nations by 2030”.
- The industry can potentially generate 1 lakh jobs annually and give hundred times the revenue it gives now.
- The policy says the Air Sports Federation of India, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, will be the apex governing body.
- It will preside over the national sports federations, which in turn will preside over the district and state-level bodies.
- The policy has also been framed to engage “migratory” air sports professionals who move away from prominent air sports locations during the winter season.
The newly established policy framework for aero sports:
Four-tier governance structure with the Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) as the apex body. It will oversee aspects like regulation, certification, accidents and penalties. National associations for individual air sports will be in the second tier, regional units and their state affiliates will be in the third tier and district-level air sports associations will govern the sport at the local level.
- To ensure safety, air sports associations will lay down the safety standards for equipment, infrastructure, personnel and training as per global best practices for the respective sport. The guidelines will also include details on disciplinary action that will be taken in case of non-compliance.
- Under the policy, an accident related to air sports has to be reported to the concerned air sports association in writing along with a copy to the ASFI within 48 hours.
- All persons and organisations engaged in air sports or providing related services have to compulsorily register as members of air sports associations. Key equipment will also have to be registered with the air sports association.
- To promote air sports, the Centre is likely to advocate for 5 per cent or less of GST (Goods and Services Tax) on equipment. Presently, the GST on air sports equipment is 18 to 28 per cent.
What impact is the policy expected to have?
- The Union government believes that India’s demographic dividend, of a young population, as well as its favourable climatic conditions can be leveraged to make India a top destination for air sports.
- Tourism, the development of support infrastructure, and eventual manufacturing of sporting goods used in air sports can lead to “economic multiplier” effects.
- This will be a private sector-led initiative in the truest form to make sure that it thrives in the years to come.
- In view of heightened risk associated with air sports, safety will be maintained by coordinating with the Air Traffic Control department and creating segregated air spaces in certain air corridors exclusively for air sports.
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