Home Travel News | Foreigners in control over paragliding business
Foreigners in control over paragliding business

Almost a decade and half since the introduction of professional paragliding in Pokhara, there’s no stopping companies who are providing the adventure sport and millions of rupees that have been invested in infrastructure to provide tourists the excitement of paragliding.

Despite all this, Nepali pilots have yet been provided license, any formal permission or accreditation for paragliding. They are depending on their skill and experience. Hence, a huge amount of the revenue earned from paragliding is going into foreign hands, who arrive in Nepal as visitors and get involved in the business after getting a license from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

Even after receiving license, the foreign pilots do not have any work permit from the Nepal government. One service provider exclaims that if the foreigners, who takes 40% of the total amount paid by service seekers, had work permit, they could have come within the tax system and would be beneficial for the state.

Out of 100 paragliding pilots in Pokhara, 20 Nepali pilots are involved in paragliding. Most pilots working in Pokhara are British, French, German, Bulgarian, Russian and Australian. All the 20 Nepali pilots are tandem flight operators. One is eligible to fly tandem only after flying solo for over 500 hours.

General Secretary, Sobit Baniya of Nepal Airsport Association (NAA) informed that the government is on the plans to introduce separate regulations in January to monitor paragliding, and only then would Nepali pilots be provided license. At the moment, Nepali pilots have been taking up paragliders by virtue of their membership of the Federation Aerotechnical International (FAI), the umbrella organization of paragliding companies.

According to Pradip Babu Tiwari of CAAN Pokhara office, a pilot without license takes full responsibility in case of any accident during flight and added that CAAN is not the proper body for providing work permits to foreign pilots.

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