Bir, Oct 24: The Paragliding World Cup 2015 got underway with Union Minister of Civil Aviation P. Gajapati Raju flagging off the pilots from the Billing launch site here on Saturday. Despite overcast conditions, the pilots took to the skies amidst cheers of encouragement from the crowds that thronged Billing. A total of 130 pilots representing more than 35 countries are taking part in the World Cup that will conclude on October 31.
"The picturesque setting of Bir-Billing provides a perfect backdrop for the biggest aero sport event in the country," said the minister. The local Billing Paragliding Association are the organisers of the event, while the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the title sponsor. "We are confident that the Paragliding World Cup will take the sport to the next level," Sudhir Sharma, president of the local association said.
For the first time GPS-aided GEO augmented vigation (GAGAN), an India SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) Programme jointly developed by the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the AAI will be used for live tracking of the pilots. IANS