Govt urged to tighten regulation of paragliding - RTHK
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Govt urged to tighten regulation of paragliding

2022-05-26 HKT 11:32
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  • Govt urged to tighten regulation of paragliding
Ombudsman Winnie Chiu on Thursday urged the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to tighten regulations for paragliding and introduce real-name registration for the sport as it becomes more popular in Hong Kong.

Chiu said an investigation by the watchdog found that the CAD did not conscientiously enforce a permit system introduced in 2019 to regulate fee-charging paragliding services.

She noted that only three people currently hold a permit to offer paragliding lessons or tandem paragliding, but the CAD rarely checks if anyone is providing such services illegally.

"There is a lot of promotion of paragliding courses or taster flying sessions in tandem on the internet, but CAD seldom conducted inspection of hotspots of such activities to check whether anyone was breaching the law," she said.

Chiu noted that officials are often unable to follow up on complaints as it's difficult to identify the paragliders involved.

She cited a complaint filed by a farm owner who said some paragliders had repeatedly landed on his farm and damaged his property.

However, the CAD didn't take action against anyone as it couldn't confirm the identity of the paragliders.

Chiu recommended the CAD introduce a real-name registration scheme for paragliders to facilitate regulation.

"Paragliding pilots should be required to register their paragliding equipment and display a registration number conspicuously on their equipment or gear," she said.

The watchdog noted that accidents related to paragliding have happened in recent years.

In 2018, a paraglider died after hitting a mountain on Lantau while another person died after losing control of his parachute and crashing in a wood in Shek O last year.