For many years we have been promised sea planes connecting all the Ionian islands but we have still to see the fruition of these planes, here is an interesting article on some background to us missing the great site of sea planes landing in the Argostoli lagoon to date!

Why are sailplanes delayed while investors are there …

Why are sailplanes delayed while investors are there ...

There is a bill, “common ministerial decisions” are missing, sailplanes and investors exist, but there is no waterway network.

For months now, we have written that it would be desirable for the hydroplanes to see them try again in the Greek area, if not in the spring of 2019, at least in the summer.

And this is indeed because this long-distance means of transport has been used for five years (2003-2008), with 15,000 flights and about 180,000 passengers, proving that seaplanes are needed and complementary to aircraft and ships, but the main is that they are operating in areas that are not connected by air or by sea. Of course, seaplanes in Greece attempted in the 1920s (!!!), linking Europe as an intermediate destination for flights to the Middle and Far East as well as Africa, while in Greece they attempted to Faliro, Nea Peramos, Mikra, Evia, Sporades , Kythira, Crete, Peloponnese, Mytilene, Patras, Syros.

And we come in now. Law 4568/18, which was the craving for a functioning framework, exists. However, there are no Joint Ministerial Decisions (JMCs), for: a) the appointment of the members of the Docking Committee who inspect them before licensing but also during their operation; b) the fueling procedures on the seaplanes; c) of the waterway running fee; d) the technical and procedural aspects of operation of the Waterways.

This should happen immediately so that there is no further delay, and at the same time continue the actions for licensing the other waterways, while investors are on the doorstep and are awaiting sightings.

The last time has been great mobility and the momentum for the realization of the project has come back. Starting with the adoption of the new Law 4568/18 on waterways, several Regions are proceeding to create waterways on their islands.

The first is the South Aegean Region, which has begun the licensing of 8 watercourses: Syros, Naxos, Amorgos, Paros, Milos, Lipsi, Leros and Kalymnos. The same region, in the next few days, completes the tender for the selection of 20 other waterways in the Dodecanese and the Cyclades, namely Rhodes (two waterfalls), Halki, Symi, Tilos, Karpathos, Kastelorizo, Agathonisi, Nisyros, Astypalaia, Kasos , Mykonos, Santorini, Kythnos, Kea, Andros, Sikinos, Serifos, Donousa, Anafi.

Why are sailplanes delayed while investors are there ...

Also, the Ionian Islands Region has begun licensing five waterways: Kefalonia, Ithaca, Lefkada, Meganisi and Zakynthos. With the issue of the Permit to Establish Waterways, the Region of the Ionian Islands assigned the Hellenic Waterways Company, which has already completed the licensing of the first three waterways in Corfu, Paxos and Patras, as contractors of Corfu and Patras Harbor Organizations ).

Recently, the Port Authority of Evoia announced a tender for the licensing of watercourses in Chalkis, Karystos, Kymi, Eretria and Aliveri.

A similar interest has been expressed by the North Aegean Region for the creation of a network of 10 waterways. While the Region of Crete has received requests from various Ports of the island to assist in the attempt to license waterways in their ports.

On the investment side, interest remains strong. International investors from America, China, England and Switzerland are closely following developments and awaiting the creation of the watercourse network to bring seaplanes and start flights.

The most recent investment interest is recorded by the Greek-Mexican investor Ricardo Farias Nikolopoulos, who has years of experience in the air, as he owns an airline in the USA (Bi-National Air). He sees that seaplanes can be very successful in Greece and neighboring coastal countries. He plans to start sailplane flights from the Ionian Sea as soon as the licensing of five Ionian Islands waterways is completed, while a very important market for seaplanes is the South Aegean, with emphasis on the Dodecanese.

Moreover, in order to accelerate the development, the Municipality of Loutraki took the initiative and co-organizes an International Conference on “Waterways – Cruise – Airports – Safety – Development” with the Port Authority of Loutraki and Hellenic Waterways.

The conference has been invited as speakers of the largest cruise and hydrofoil companies to document the synergy of the two modes of transport.

The Ministers of Infrastructure & Transport, Tourism, Maritime & Island Policy, under the auspices of the Conference, will take place on 15-16 March in Loutraki.

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