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Paragliding: flight prohibition on Mont Blanc requested

From the Valle d'Aosta Region to Italian Enac, after the fatal accident on June 26th

The flow of athletes is such as to constitute a disturbing and dangerous factor also for the performance of rescue operations by helicopters and aircraft

After the accident on the south side of Mont Blanc that last June 26th caused the death of a French pilot, the president of the Autonomous Region of Valle d'Aosta Antonio Fosson, in agreement with the head of the regional civil defence Pio Porretta, requested to ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, the issue of a ban on paragliding activities on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif. The ascending currents due to the anomalous heat of these days -Fosson explained it- attract many paragliding enthusiasts that take off from Chamonix taking advantage of the favorable currents of the French side: these same currents however become very dangerous as soon as the sail passes the 4800 meters of the summit of Mont Blanc. Moreover, given that during the Summer season rescue operations can be numerous, the presence of the sails is a factor of disturbance and danger for the performance of the operations making them long and difficult.

The request included the area and altimetric limits of the zone to be regulated, which according to the regional institutional website, are:

Side limits (clockwise)
- Col Ferret (45° 53' 55' 'N, 07° 04' 06" E);
- Talweg of the Doire de Ferret stream up to point 45° 48' 32" N, 06° 57' 41" E;
- Talweg line of the Doire de Vény stream up to point 45° 46' 34" N, 06° 52' 16" E;
- Col de La Seigne (45° 45' 00" N, 06° 48' 00" E);
- Italian-French border line up to Mont Dolent (45° 55' 20" N, 07' 02' 41" E);
- Italian-Swiss border line up to Col Ferret (45° 53' 55'' N, 07° 04' 06'' E).

Elevation limit
- From the topographic surface to the highest of the two levels: FL flight level 115 or .000 meters from ground level (Agl).

According to "AostaSera.it" in the aftermath of the accident "according to the evidence collected by Sagf and also relaunched by the French media, Mont Blanc was literally stormed for gliding. At least 150 paragliders on the summit of Mont Blanc after having taken off two thousand meters lower (superheated air facilitates upward movement), a super turnout, so as to make it impossible to approach, in the first instance, the helicopter of the Valdostano Alpine Rescue alerted by the Gendarmerie approaching , precisely because of the risks associated with the presence of the many sails. 'Sierra Alfa 1' had to move away and wait for the airspace to free itself, to then take off again".

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© AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl