POKHARA, Aug 11: Paragliding operators have fixed the number of flights that a pilot can fly in a day in a bid to minimize accidents.
Officials of Aviation Sports Association Nepal (ASAN) said they have asked paragliding operators to allow pilots to operate a maximum of three flights in a day. They said the new measure had been adopted to check the trend of pilots operating flights in a whimsical manner.
The measure, which was introduced few days ago, will make help to make paragliding safe, according to ASAN.
Basanta Raj Dawadi, general secretary of ASAN, said paragliding pilots will be allowed to make only three flights a day irrespective of the flying hours.
“Operating more than three flights a day might make pilots tired. Disasters might happen if pilots are tired,” Dawadi said, adding that the new arrangement would minimize the risk.
Dawadi said the new rule was introduced after pilots started operating many flights to make fast bucks, ignoring the risks and congestion in the sky.
Before the rule was introduced, pilots were operating as many as six flights in a day.
“We will conduct surprise inspections at the paragliding site to make sure that the new rule is strictly followed. If a pilot is found flouting the rule, we will bar him/her from flying for three days,” he added.
According to operators, there are around 100 pilots, including around 30 foreigners, in Pokhara who make tandem flights for about one and half dozen companies. Enforcement of the new rule means only around 300 paragliding flights will be operated in Pokhara in a day.
Paragliding flights take off from Sarangkot and land at the bank of Fewa Lake in Khapaudi.
Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has allowed paragliding companies to hire a maximum of six pilots. Pratap Babu Tiwari, chief of CAAN Pokhara, said the number was fixed to avert accidents that might result from congested sky.