(English) No new paragliding permits in Pokhara

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Citing airspace congested, the Tourism Ministry has decided not to issue new operating permits. At a time paragliding flights has reached its peak the decision, taken by a recent secretary-level meeting made public. The decision came into effect from Wednesday.

Nearly a dozen half paragliding companies are operating while more than 35 have requested for the operating permits in Pokhara.

New permits have been restricted in Sarangkot, Toripani and Mandredhunga, including areas covered by the air traffic service route of Pokhara airport, according to the Ministry.

“The decision to stop issuing operating permits is aimed at ensuring safety,” today’s Kantipur daily quoted Suresh Acharya, joint-secretary at the ministry as saying.

The ministry has directed the district police office to set up a police post at every landing site to ensure the adventure sports safer. It has directed the Air Sports Association to arrange an ambulance at each such site.

The ministry has also formed a panel to monitor paragliding companies. The panel has been assigned to send their monitoring report to the ministry every three months.

With Sunrise Balloon and Avia Club offering hot air ballooning and ultra light flying, aerial sports began in Nepal in 1996.

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