India’s first National Air Sports Policy: UPSC

The Union ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) announced India’s first national air sports policy (NASP 2022), paving the way for a new era in aero sports for India.

The NASP will cover 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.

The Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) will be the apex 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 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.

The national air sports associations will be accountable to ASFI to ensure safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable conduct of their respective sporting activities.

Sports associations will handle all regulatory issues related to safety, training, licencing, and airworthiness. They will have to coordinate with the air traffic control authorities for safe operations, alongside other manned or unmanned flights.