Chamonix Bans Wingsuit Flying After A Spike In Deaths
Mayor of Chamonix says the sport is ‘putting residents at risk’
Chamonix, in France, is banning wingsuit flying. Eric Fournier, the Mayor of Chamonix, has announced that the sport will be banned for six months in the resort.
The ban follows the death of a Russian wingsuit flyer who died instantly after crashing into a chalet in Chamonix earlier this week. In a statement, Fournier said “We can't consider that flying over inhabited zones is something that's normal, when they're putting residents at risk.".
The tragedy that led to this ban is not an isolated incident. In 2016 alone, 35 people have been killed in accidents resulting from wingsuiting globally. There were three deaths just in August alone, including one in Chamonix, when Italo-Norwegian wingsuiter Alexamder Polli died after hitting a tree.
"We can't consider that flying over inhabited zones is something that's normal, when they're putting residents at risk"
Wingsuit flying, or proximity flying, is recognised as one of the most dangerous sports in the world, and any loss of life is deeply sad. However, when the risk spills over into non-participants also being affected, we can understand why the Mayor of Chamonix has taken such extreme action.
However, we also have to question how affective a ban is. Will prohibiting wingsuit flying in the area stop people from doing it, or simply add to the buzz for certain individuals, knowing that they’re breaking the laws of the area, along with bending the laws of physics.