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Policy on Airsports: A step ahead towards Inclusive growth

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    21st Jun, 2022

Overview

  • What is policy all about
  • Air sports and its benefits
  • India as a destination for air sports industry
  • Challenges to be faced
  • What’s next?

Context

A National air sport policy 2022 (NASP) was launched by civil aviation minister.

  • The new policy lays out the vision of making India one of the top sports nations.

About

  • Air sports encompass various sports activities involving the medium of air.
  • These include 11 sports like air-racing, aerobatics, aero-modelling hang-gliding, paragliding, paramotoring and skydiving
  • India has the potential to be among the leading nations in the world of air sports.
  • It has been drafted based on the inputs received from policymakers, air sports practitioners and the public at large and will ensure the establishment of good quality infrastructure, equipment, instructors and services.
  • It aims to provide by providing a safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable air sports ecosystem in India.

Analysis

What does the policy aims to provide?

  • The key objectives of the NASP 2022 include promoting an air sports culture in the country enabling the adoption of international good practices in safety.
  • Under the new policy, there will be a four-tier governance structure for air sports in India namely;
    • The Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) as the apex governing body;
    • National associations for individual air sports or a set of air sports,
    • Regional or State and Union Territory level units of the national of airsports association;
    • And District-level air sports associations.
  • This will generate Indian sportspersons in global air sports events; and to promote design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment in India in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.

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The FédérationAéronautique Internationale (FAI)

  • It headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland is the Global governing body for air sports.
  • It sets standards, organises events and has over 100 members.
  • It was founded on 14 October 1905.
  • Facts: The FAI suspended Russia and Belarus due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, as a result of which pilots from Russia and Belarus will not be able to compete in any FAI-sanctioned event in the 13 FAI air sports disciplines including paragliding, hang gliding and paramotoring.

Why India should promote Air sports?

  • Geographic advantage: India has the potential to be among the leading nations in the world of air sports.
    • It has a large geographical expanse, diverse topography, and fair-weather conditions.
  • Using Demographic Dividend: It has a large population, especially the youth.
    • It has a growing culture for adventure sports and aviation mostly for youth in our country will like to take part in such sports.
  • Generating employment: We can leverage the energy of our youth below the age of 35 which accounts for 70% of India population.
    • It will provide employment opportunities for youth and can generate approx. 1 lakh job annually.
  • Increase Tourism: It will serve to attract air sports enthusiasts from all over the world.
    • Especially those who live in areas where harsh winters prevent them from participation.
  • Economic Benefits: presently in India, air sports has a small market of 80-100 crores and 5000 participants across the country.
    • Policy will make rules regarding these activities and thus help people to participate more to explore new things.
    • This will generate revenue for our country and can reach up to 8000 crore Industry, according to the government.

What are the challenges for India?

  • Lack of adequate safety measures: Inability to enforce safety standards by an air sports association might lead to penal action by the ASFI against such association, including financial penalties, suspension or dismissal.
  • Funding issues: the air sports will not be funded by the government directly and its Long term funding will come from corporate investors, sponsors, membership fees, events and media rights.
  • Making quality sporting goods: The sporting goods used under the policy has been proposed to be made indigenously.
    • Whereas till now India is not equipped with best quality sporting goods and it can impact safety measures of sportspersons.

What can be done to make this policy effective?

  • School based training to students: Government should promote air sports in school curriculum for better skill management from early stage in children and youth.
  • Promote air sports as a Career option: Youth in our country who are unemployed should be made aware of benefits in this industry.
    • This can be done by providing benefits and allowances in air sports services as coaches, instructors and guides.
  • Training and Infrastructure: adequate Training is essential before promoting any such activity in the country as it may lead to accidental damages to human life.
  • Developing Air sports zone: Creating air spaces free from aeroplanes and any air traffic for this activity will help in the forward direction.

Conclusion

There is need to leverage the energy of Indian youth which accounts for 70 % of India's population which is larger than the total population of Europe and three times that of USA. Hence we have an opportunity to make use of this policy for betterment of our country’s image globally and harness the potential of India to be a global leader in air sports in future.

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