Palampur, November 24
The Bir Billing Paragliding Association has suspended tandem flights from today.
Anurag Sharma, director of the association, said they decided to suspend the licences of all pilots who were members of the association till further orders. He said the association had discontinued tandem flying till new safety measures were implemented.
Sharma said that the association had also conveyed its decisions to the state Tourism Department, Baijnath SDM, and the Kangra SP. He added that as per the guidelines of the Aero Sports Authority of India, new safety rules were being framed and these would be sent to the Tourism Department for approval. Besides, copies of the proposed rules had been given to all members of the association to seek their objections.
He said as per the proposed rules, the pilots will have to carry a reserve parachute with them so that in case of an emergency they could land safely with the co-flier. Every flier has to sign an indemnity bond along with a dual insurance cover before flying.
Sharma said to seek licences, the pilots would have to present an evidence of 500 flying hours to their credit before the five-member committee of the Tourism Department. Besides, every pilot had to adhere to the tariff fixed by the association or the Tourism Department.
The association has also requested the Tourism Department that only those pilots who had been given licences for tandem flying by the Deputy Director Tourism, Dharamsala, should be allowed to fly at Billing because they are well versed with the difficult topography of the area, particularly the high mountains of Dhauladhars. It had also requested the Tourism Department to depute at least four persons to inspect the documents of the pilots at the landing and takeoff points everyday to curb illegal flying.
New rules being framed
New safety rules are being framed, which will be sent to the Tourism Department for approval. — Anurag Sharma, director, Bir Billing paragliding association
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