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Behind the acronym ASTM is an international organization formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials. ASTM is in the process of developing standards for vertical wind tunnels used as indoor skydiving "attractions," aiming to provide baseline safe design and testing criteria for designers, engineers and manufacturers.

Towards Voluntary Regulation

STM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.

As per a news item on its website, the ASTM Amusement Rides and Devices Committee (Committee #24) is currently developing new standards for the vertical wind tunnels used as indoor skydiving attractions. Under the ASTM Work Item 70227 the scope of the undertaking is described as follows:

"This practice establishes criteria for the design, manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, auditing and major modification of commercial and institutional Bodyflight, for indoor and outdoor vertical wind tunnel flying attractions operating with the primary purpose of amusement, entertainment, training, and recreation. This practice applies to indoor and outdoor vertical wind tunnel flying attractions either portable or permanently installed units. This practice establishes guidelines for reducing potential hazards to patrons, participants, flyers, spectators, surrounding properties, and operators of Indoor or Outdoor Vertical Wind Tunnel attractions."

The Safety Director of iFLY Indoor Skydiving, Jaret Oldfather, is one of the 800 members on the ASTM Committee #24 and listed as the principal contact for WK70227.

Oldfather points out that “the proposed standards may guide local governments and inspectors that have jurisdiction over vertical wind tunnels used for indoor skydiving."

Despite wording such as "voluntary consensus" and "may guide," the ASTM standards could easily get adopted and enforced by regulators in just about any country. All designers, manufacturers, regulators, owners, and operators are therefore encouraged to participate in their development. The next meeting of ASTM International’s Committee #24 is 12 - 15 February 2020 in New Orleans, USA.

SAI will continue to report on the process that will likely be discussed between six of the tunnel manufacturers at the Indoor Skydiving 2020 | First Global Summit.

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