Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Flight Safety Standard Department (FSSD) this year has ceased recreational aviation operation license of 11 paragliding companies as they failed to apply for the renewal of their license.
Recreational Aviation section of the department manager Mr. Devendra Prasad Pandey acknowledged that the operational license of the companies had to be cancelled as they failed to renew them on time.
As accordance to Recreational Aviation Rule 2012 of CAA of Nepal, the license of the recreational aviation companies are valid for one year after the date of the issuance and if it is not renewed within six months after the expiry, it would be cancelled.
According to FSSD, there are total 74 recreational aviation companies in Nepal, including paragliding, ultra light flights, para-motor and hot-air balloon.
Currently, there are four ultra flight companies, three paragliding schools, one para-motor Company, and 66 paragliding companies in the country. Among them two companies are in Kathmandu, two in Dharan, one in Palpa, one in Surkhet, and rest of the 68 companies are in Pokhara.
According to CAAN, companies have received recreational aviation operational license in new places such as Bandipur, Bhedetar, Surkhet, Syangja, Palpa, Bandipur, Kanyam, and Dhampus. One hot-air balloon company has been permitted to start operation at Dhampus.
Meanwhile, such adventurous recreational activity is flourishing in Nepal. Every year significant number of people visit Nepal for recreational activities.
The recreational aviation companies are flying more than 350 fleets annually. In 2016, CAAN has collected Rs 10.2 million in revenue from recreational aviation activities. The revenue collection of 2017 is yet to be compiled.
“Nepal has suitable climate for recreational aviation. We can operate fleets here in all season,” he added. “This advantage has helped us to increase the number of adventurous tourists in the country.”
“Not only foreigners but domestic tourists are being attracted toward such adventurous activities in recent years,” he added. Paragliding started in Nepal in 1997. Formal commercial operation started in 2000.