Delay in NOCs grounds paragliding clubshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/delay-in-nocs-grounds-paragliding-clubs/

Delay in NOCs grounds paragliding clubs

IAF made NOCs from police and gram panchayats compulsory on April 2 after spotting unidentified paragliders in Dec.

This could turn out to be a zero-sortie season for paragliders in and around the city. With only a month left for the flying season to end,paragliding clubs are battling procedural delays.

Non-receipt of NOCs,made mandatory by Indian Air Force (IAF) over a month ago,from police and gram panchayat,have clipped wings of flying clubs.

While the clubs — five in Kamshet and Saswad — have no option but to say ‘no’ to summer vacation queries,police said the work of granting NOCs would be completed in about a week.

A senior Pune Rural police officer said,“We have received five-six applications (for NOCs). The documents have been sent to respective police stations,whose reports are awaited. The procedure should be completed in a week.”

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IAF made NOCs mandatory against the backdrop of the recent sightings of unidentified flyers. The decision was taken at a meeting of IAF,police and paragliding clubs on April 2.

“It was decided the clubs will require permission from the air traffic controller before flying. They would have to provide information such as time slots and heights (of flying),” said Wing Commander R R Lall,spokesperson for the Lohegaon-based IAF 2 Wing.

A veteran paraglider said: “We submitted the required documents to police and gram panchayat immediately after the meeting.

“But there has been no response. It was discussed on April 2 that the procedure of issuing NoCs would be completed within a week. It has been a month since,we are not flying.”

IAF spotted two unidentified paragliders in December,an ideal month for flying,and asked police to investigate. While the investigation continues,paragliding remains suspended.

The city has five paragliding clubs and two associations. Such is the demand in summer,each club earns Rs 5-10 lakh a month.

“Given that this is the only period when flying takes place,the entire year is now wasted,” said Eric Menezes,a veteran paraglider.

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