A new skydiving club is on the horizon in India. A proposal to put a skydiving center in Dhule has been underway and will come to full fruition in the near future. The center will host a range of skydiving activities. It will also be India’s first “Aero Sports Academy.” The academy will be located in the city of Dhule, India.
The skydiving club will be operated by the Bombay Flying Club. The club will train skydivers, instruct power gliders, have hot air ballooning, as well as other aviation activities. It will be located at the Dhule airport, which is located around 205 miles from Mumbai.
One of the reasons for the new skydiving center is because the one in Mumbai has experienced overcrowding.
Jaykumar Rawal, the Tourism Minister of the Academy said that the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation supports the club.
“We have an airport in Dhule and its lease is already with the Bombay Flying Club,” Rawal said. “We are working with them to start the training for aero sports. Dhule can become a training hub and a tourist destination.”
The president of the club, Captain Mihir Bhagwati, talked about the plans for the club.
Bhagwati said that the company is trying to get more investments. “We are getting equipment from Aero Club of India and have also urged some of our members to invest,” Bhagwati said. “The National Aero Sports Academy, or ASA, will be the first such institution in the country. We will train students and participants here for national and international aero sports events. We will also host such events.”
According to Bhagwati, the club will have many instructors from across India who will bring experience to the table in a variety of aviation-related activities. Some of these activities include hang gliding, power gliding, hot air balloon gliding, skydiving, air racing, trike flying, paramotoring, and parasailing.
In addition, Bhagwati is hoping these activities will encourage people who are younger to participate in aviation related sports. “We will encourage youngsters to try aero sports,” Bhagwati explained.
In 1928, the Bombay Flying Club came into existence. It is India’s oldest flight school. The club holds a rich history and place in aviation in India. JRD Tata—who is known as the “father” of Indian aviation—was the first person to earn a pilot’s license from the Bombay Flying Club in 1929. In addition, Tata also was one of the club’s founders.
Dhule has held a base for the Bombay Flying Club for many years. Currently, there are no commercial aviation operations in the city; this could put possible restrictions on the air sports and the training. The only two groups that use the airspace are the Bombay Flying Club and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
According to the Bombay Flying Club’s website, “The Bombay Flying Club has the unique distinction of being the only flying club in the world, which undertook the cross-country international flight from Bombay to London and back, with four Tiger Moths participating in it, in the 1930s.”