Government unveils air sports policy and sees 10x annual revenue growth

The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Tuesday announced the country’s first National Air Sports Policy (NASP 2022), which will cover aerobatics, model aircraft, model rockets, construction aircraft amateur and experimental, hot air balloons and drones.

Gliding and powered gliding, Hang gliding and powered hang gliding, Skydiving – including skydiving, BASE jumping and wingsuit flying – Paragliding and paramotoring (including powered parachute tricycles), motorized aircraft and rotorcraft will also be covered by the policy.

“Indian youth represent the future of aero sports. Programs aimed at stimulating interest in aerial sports will be encouraged. Schools, colleges and universities will be encouraged to include air sports in the curriculum,” said Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

He said that Rs 80-100 crore in revenue is generated annually from air sports and that figure could be multiplied by 10. “From a small market of around 5,000 air sports practitioners creating around Rs 80-100 crore annual income in India, I think we can aim for more than Rs 8,000-10,000 crore annual income and generate more than 100,000 direct jobs. The benefits of the economic multiplier in terms of travel, tourism, support services and local infrastructure development will be more than three times.

The policy proposes a two-tier governance structure for air sports in the country, which will include a supreme governing body called Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) and associations for each air sport.

ASFI will be an autonomous body under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and will represent India to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland and other global platforms related to air sports. It will provide governance for various aspects of air sports, such as regulation, certification, competitions, awards and sanctions.

The minister said that the Indian Armed Forces, Central Armed Police Force and various state police forces have excellent training facilities for air sports. “ASFI will engage with the Ministries of Defense and Interior and State Police Forces to explore opportunities to extend their facilities to the public at a reasonable cost,” the policy reads.

In addition to direct revenue, air sports activities will further benefit from growth in travel, tourism, infrastructure and local employment, especially in hilly regions.

The establishment of air sports hubs will also attract air sports professionals and tourists from all over the world.

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