As preparations gather momentum for the conduct of the first-ever AAI Paragliding World Cup 2015, another set of preparations have already been set in motion for “Rescue and Retrieval” operations in case of any emergences during the event.With more than 130 Paragliding Pilots coming over from across the world and another 400-500 free fliers, who throng Bir Billing each year, the “Rescue and Retrieval” systems been accorded top priority for the event.
While the gorgeous Dhauladhar Mountains Ranges and the meadows down below offer a superb view for the fliers, there is always an inherent danger and the Billing Paragliding Association (BPA), which is organising the event is leaving nothing to chance.
Mr. Sudhir Sharma, President of BPA, said, “It is a major event and even though the top pilots are very experienced, this sport has dangers attached to it. So we are taking all precautions with a large number of rescue and retrieval teams; Repeaters for a good signal system and a Live tracking equipment with GPS; Helicopters, moveable base sets, large number of ambulances, trauma van and a lot else.”There will be 20 vehicles for Rescue teams, 10 vehicles for Retrieval teams; six Moveable Base Sets; a dozen ambulances at various crucial points and a Trauma Van, which will be available all times. In addition, there will be one Chopper with winch and one standby Chopper for Rescue Operation near the landing field.All Rescue Teams will be equipped with Communications devices like Radios and GPS.
According to Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, Sr. Vice President of BPA, “There will be rescue teams in the Control Room for back-up and each team has six members and stretcher carriers. Each Rescue Team consists of four Mountaineering Instructors, two trained Marshals, one Paramedic and one policeman. And, each Retrieval Team consists of two trained Marshals, one policeman equipped with radio Set and mobile communication and each Rescue team is equipped with full mountain climb/rescue gear equipment and Hard stretchers.” He also added the GPS and Live Tracking System will be most modern.Other equipment such as Seat Harnesses, Helmets, Rock Hammers, Descenders, Mitten Pears, Rock Pitons, Ropes and much else will be available in abundance.The BPA wishes to use the event to create awareness about the sport and create an eco-system to boost the sport and tourism activities in Himachal Pradesh. It will also take Bir Billing closer to becoming the best site in the world for Paragliding. Currently, Bir Billing is the second best in the world.The event will be held from October 23 to 31, 2015.
About the AAI Paragliding World Cup
The best paragliders in the world will gather in Bir Billing and show their mettle, as India gears up to host the “AAI Paragliding World Cup 2015”. Preparations are underway on a massive scale in Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, where the World Cup would be staged from October 23 – 31 2015. The Billing Paragliding Association (BPA), which has been entrusted to organise the event, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure a memorable experience for everyone.The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the Title Sponsors and will actively promote the sport and the event through various avenues and platforms to be announced soon. The AAI has also taken up the task of promoting Adventure Sports and help build an additional avenue for Tourism.
About 130 of the best paragliders, including those in World’s Top-5, from over 40 countries are set to participate in the championship, which will put India firmly on the global paragliding map.During the week-long tournament, the edge of competitive sport during the day will give way for some fun and frolic in the evenings, with specially-themed programmes being planned for each evening. The gala opening and the closing ceremonies promise to be extravaganzas, adding their own colour to the World Cup.
About Billing Paragliding Association
The Billing Paragliding Association formed in 2006 had successfully organised the Pre-World Cup of Paragliding at the same venue in 2013 to test the waters with extremely encouraging results and great response, which paved the way for the World Cup to be brought here.The BPA is the only organization recognised by Aero Club of India, which in turn is the only body recognised by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the governing world body for air sports, and the Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA). The FAI was formed in 1905.As a competitive sport, Paragliding has already featured in some Games like the South-East Asian Games and the Asian Beach Games. Paragliding was also short-listed in the initial list of new events for the 2020 Olympics, but will now be considered for the 2024 Olympic Games.
About Bir Billing
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.