Future of paragliding in Pokhara becomes uncertain as int’l airport comes into operation

Published On: December 11, 2022 09:20 AM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

KATHMANDU, Dec 11: There are 60 paragliding companies operating tandem flights in the sky of Pokhara. Commercial paragliding in this lake city started about two and a half decades ago. Most of those companies fly from Sarangkot and land in Pokhara. Some have also started commercial flights for tourists outside Pokhara.

Pokhara Regional International Airport is set to come into operation from January 1, 2023. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has recently completed the calibration flight of the airport. The commercial flights will be conducted after the calibration flight report. However, it is still uncertain what will happen to the future of paragliding in Pokhara after the international airport comes into operation.

It has not yet been decided whether paragliding flights will be allowed or will be banned for the safety of aircraft. CAAN has said that all 60 companies will not be able to fly at the same time if paragliding is to be allowed in Pokhara.

The authority has said that a certain time can be fixed for paragliding so that it does not hamper the regular operating hours of the international airport. 

"If there is limited time available for paragliding flights, all the companies cannot fly at the same time, it will be chaotic," Director General of the Authority Pradeep Adhikari said.

According to the authority, it is not certain whether paragliding in Pokhara will continue or not. After businessmen and entrepreneurs of Pokhara demanded that paragliding should be sustained in Pokhara, the authority started to make an alternative arrangement by changing the flight procedure design.

The director general of CAAN said that even if paragliding is allowed in Pokhara, it will not be possible to fly from morning till late afternoon as it is now, so all the companies will not be able to operate. He said that there is a possibility that the authority will allow paragliding only for a limited time in a certain areas, so there will not be enough space for everyone during that period.

"A detailed study has not yet been conducted, but it is certain that time and space will not be enough for all companies," said Adhikari. 


Leave A Comment