DGCA looks to regulate skydiving activities

DGCA looks to regulate skydiving activities

Concerned about the increasing popularity of skydiving despite its “inherent risks”, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is planning to make it mandatory for individuals or entities carrying out parachuting activities to be affiliated with organisations it has approved and follow a prescribed safety protocol.

Parachuting and skydiving activities have predominantly been carried out under the aegis of the Army and the Air Force by using civil aircraft as permitted by Indian Aircraft Rules, 1937.

In order to ensure safety in parachuting operations, it has been decided to formulate regulations on the training and licensing of personnel and equipment engaged in such operations, a senior DGCA official said.

The Aero Club of India and other competent organisations, after developing acceptable basic safety requirements in line with the industry standards, are likely to be authorised by the DGCA to license personnel and equipment for skydiving.
The aviation regulator has given time till October 12 for stakeholders to respond and comment on its draft.

As per the draft Civil Aviation Rules, no person will be allowed to conduct a parachute operation over or into a congested area without permission.

“However, a parachutist may drift over a congested area or an open-air assembly of persons with a fully deployed and properly functioning parachute if that parachutist is at a sufficient altitude to avoid creating a hazard to persons or property on the ground level,” the draft regulations said.

It also says that the pilot in command of an aircraft should not let a person skydive if he or she appears to be under the influence of intoxicants or psychoactive substances.

An expert approved by authorised agencies, who will be held accountable, should also personally oversee the packing of main parachutes to ensure that it is done properly.

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