About 130 of the world's best paragliders from over 40 countries are set to participate in the AAI Paragliding World Cup to be held between October 23 to 31 in Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh.The Billing Paragliding Association (BPA), which has been entrusted with organising the event, met all the major stakeholders and prominent sponsors here on Friday.The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be the title sponsor and actively promote the sport and the event through various avenues and platforms to be announced soon.
BPA president Sudhir Sharma, who is also Himachal Pradesh's Housing, Urban Development and Town & Country Planning Minister, has been closely monitoring the progress of the event."It is a matter of huge prestige for BPA and Himachal Pradesh that the AAI Paragliding World Cup is happening here. This is a huge shot in the arm for not only the sport of paragliding, but Himachal Pradesh as well and we are working hard to deliver a truly world-class event," he said in a statement on Saturday.“It will boost sports and tourism activities in the state as international participants, pilots and others will visit the Kangra valley during this championship. Other activities to attract spectators will also be organised and it is bound to boost the local population and tourism."
Bir Billing is considered the second best paragliding spot in the world and steps have been taken to develop infrastructure of international standards for the championship. The take-off and landing areas are being completely redone, and state-of-the-art facilities are being built for the paragliders, officials and spectators alike.The BPA had successfully organised a testing event in 2013.This is the first time that an event of this magnitude has been awarded to India by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world governing body for air sports, and the Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA).