New govt promises to cut 'red tape' to allow viable seaplane routes in island-laden Greece

Monday, 29 July 2019 22:21
UPD:22:22

Υδροπλάνο της Hellenic Seaplanes.

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By F. Zois
fzois@naftemporiki.gr

The latest effort to finally commence seaplane routes to various Greek isles and coastal destinations without airports will, according to reports, emanates from the new infrastructure and transports ministry leadership, with the aim being to further simplify the regulatory and licensing framework in the east Mediterranean country.

Establishing permanent seaplanes routes in Greece has been a more than two-decades-old endeavor, one usually quashed by ubiquitous bureaucratic "red tape" in the country, and most recently concerns of commercial viability.

The latest "target" for at least pilot routes to begin is the spring of 2020, with the ministry promising to cut the number of licenses required, while also issuing necessary joint ministerial decisions to clarify the new regulatory framework for take-off and landing points.

By all accounts, the first seaplane routes, if and when approved and launched, will be in Ionian Sea islands and on the western Greece mainland.

Two Greece-based companies are currently active in the country, awaiting a future "green light", namely, Greek Water Airports - of which Aktor Facility Management holds a 55-percent stake - and Hellenic Seaplanes. Officials from the latter have claimed that they've already attracted private financing from domestic and foreign investors.

Greek-Mexican aviation entrepreneur Ricardo Farias Nicolopulos (Bi-National Air, Air Choice One) has also widely been cited in the past as interested a burgeoning seaplane sector in the country.

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