The Union ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) announced the country’s first national air sports policy (NASP 2022), paving the way for a new era in aero sports for India.
- India’s first NASP has been launched to improve the state of aero sports in India, with a vision to make India a hub for air sports in the world by 2030.
- Furthermore, it aims to provide a safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable air sports ecosystem in India.
- It also aims to encourage participation of Indians, at various global air sports events.
Key features of the National Air Sports Policy —
- Coverage — The policy is set to include a set of 13 air sports such as — aerobatics, aero modelling, model rocketry, ballooning, drones, gliding, powered gliding, rotorcraft, hang gliding, parachuting, and para motoring among others. However, the list of sports under the National Sports Policy will be modified from time to time as deemed necessary.
- Governance structure — Under the new policy, the air sports in India will be under a four-tier governance structure. This includes –
- 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 air sports associations and District-level air sports associations.
- Role of ASFI —
- The ASFI will be an autonomous body under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
- It will be chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, who will nominate up-to three eminent experts related to air sports as members of the ASFI governing council.
- It will present India at the Fédération aéronautique internationale (World Air Sports Federation) 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.
- Other enabling features —
- The policy also enables the adoption of international good practices in safety.
- This includes air sports infrastructure, equipment, operations, training, and maintenance among others.
- Supports Atmanirbhar Bharat policy — The policy also promotes the design, development, and manufacturing of air sports equipment in India in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat policy.
- Reporting of an accident — The policy also stated that a person, or an associated person, involved in an accident will inform the concerned air sports association in writing, along with a copy to the ASFI, no later than 48 hours after an incident.
- Provision of penal action — Inability to enforce adequate safety standards by an air sports association may lead to penal action by the ASFI against such association. This includes financial penalties, suspension or dismissal.