100 paragliders from abroad for World Cup

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Finally, decks have cleared for International Paragliding World Cup Championship to be held at Bir Billing from March 31 to April 5.

Official sources told The Tribune here today that this decision was taken at a meeting held at Shimla yesterday. The meeting was presided over by R D Dhiman Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism). Officials of the state tourism department and Atal Behari Vajpayee Mountaineering Institute participated in the meeting. It was decided that Atal Behari Vajpayee Mountaineering Institute will conduct the championship and state tourism department will be the host.

Pilots from 28 nations for event from March 31

  • More than 100 pilots from 28 countries are likely to participate in the event beginning from March 31. The figure is likely to go up.
  • An international bank account has been opened by the organisers and fee for pilots has been notified on the website.
  • The state government has laid special stress on the safety and security of the pilots.

Earlier uncertainty prevailed over holding of this event but now the state government has given its clearance and dates of event have also been finalized. In fact, this event was to be held in October last year but was postponed because of Investors Meet at Dharamsala.

Official sources also disclosed that Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA) with its head office in Paris, an international agency which organized such global adventurous events and made selection of best pilots, had also notified the dates of World Cup Championships in its calendar. Besides, the state government had also received various clearances from different agencies within the state and outside for holding the event.

This year the state government has made a major change keeping Special Area Development Agency (SADA) Bir Billing and Billing Paragliding Association (BPA) out of the event. In past SADA and a private body BPA had organised all events.

Now Atal Behari Vajpayee Mountaineering Institute, Manali, in collaboration with the tourism department will organize the championship.

Over 100 pilots from 28 countries are likely to participate in the championship. The figure may go up as there is still a lot of time left for depositing the entry fee. An international bank account has also been opened by the organisers and fee for the pilots had been notified on the website.

The state government has laid special stress on the safety and security of the pilots. No pilots would be allowed to participate in the event without proper documents. A team of experts will be deputed to scrutinize the documents of pilots. Insurance cover for all the participants has been made mandatory.

In the year 2018, half a dozen mishaps took place because of participation of untrained foreign pilots in the event. The organizers have been specially directed by the government to adhere to the timings of takeoff and landing so that mishaps could be averted.