Hailed as one of the most important paragliding centers of the world, Babadag Air Sports and Recreation Center in Mugla’s Fethiye district is ready for its peak summer tourism season, during which it hopes to reach its target of hosting 100,000 paragliding enthusiasts.
New flying directives have also been implemented in Babadag where nearly 90,000 people paraglide annually with four paragliding tracks in the neighborhood of Oludeniz. Officials intend to see the summer season conclude without any incidents thanks to the new regulations regarding paragliding, which is the prominent activity for local and foreign adventurers.
Babadag offers its visitors the chance to observe the unique scenery from a bird’s-eye view and land in Belcekız Beach in Oludeniz with its four tracks, which are 1,200, 1,700, 1,800 and 1,900 meters high. While those who paraglide, experience the adrenalin in the air, people who sunbath on the beach watch the visual feast created by the paragliders. In his statement to an Anadolu Agency reporter, Fethiye District Governor Ekrem Calık said the 2015 Babadag Flying Directives entered into force with the approval of Mugla Governor Amir Cicek following the inspection and subsequent report of the District Sports Tourism Committee.
According to the directive, pilots who are involved in commercial activities will be tested for drugs and alcohol in order to maintain passenger safety as well as to protect bystanders on the ground and other aircraft. Furthermore, pilots will be required to submit a complete health report by a hospital when they are applying to tourism agencies.
Reiterating that they established a flying control committee in collaboration with several institutions for security and health issues, Calık continued, “This year, the General Directorate of Emergency Health Services (UMKE) will operate in the region as always. In case of an emergency, Dalaman Air Force Command will assist in the rescue with military helicopters. All related establishments will work exceptionally hard and diligently this season in order to prevent accidents.”
Calık also emphasized that there have been no deadly commercial flight accidents in the last three seasons, thanks to the precautions. “Paragliding is popular in many provinces in Turkey. The practices and directives in Fethiye will act as an example for other provinces,” he said.
Three years ago, approximately 40,000 people went paragliding, but the facilities in Babadag exceeded 90,000 visitors last year. The track hosted more than 5,000 flights in the winter. Calık claimed that they will have more than 100,000 visitors this season due to new developments in track maintenance and repair.
Culture and Tourism Directorate Director Veli Celik said they are continuing with preparations for the outdoor and adventure activities in Mugla without taking a break. Highlighting the fact that they did not experience any incidents last year, Celik said they are taking all possible precautions to prevent accidents this season. He added that paragliding activities have already begun in the region, and expressed his belief that the four tracks in Babadag will hosts thousands of tourists this year.
Stressing that paragliding is among the most important activities in Mugla, Celik said more than three million tourists visit the province annually. “We think most of these tourists paraglide in the region. Thanks to the precautions, adventure junkies can safely enjoy paragliding,” Celik added. He also thanked everyone for their work, and expressed his wish for an increase in the number of tourists visiting the province.
Source Daily Sabah