The Hydroplane is an innovative mean of transport, its presence in the Greek market is estimated to be complementary to other means (such as ferry boats and airplanes), which so far serve the needs of Coastal transport system.
In a country, like Greece that is characterized by the special geographical structure and the numerous islands, the action of Hydroplane is particularly important, especially in emergency situations (bad weather conditions) and in unprofitable routes, especially after the liberalization of Coastal shipping the interesting of shipping companies in these lines declined in conjunction with the absence of airports in many of them, so creating significant barriers to trade and social life of these areas.
According to the data of current Greek passenger shipping, the potential presence of Hydroplane could solve many problems in the Greek transport network and may become an important pillar of the Greek Coastal Shipping upgrading.
It is worth recalling to the younger that this upcoming alternative mean of transport is not so unfamiliar for Greece, the first Hydroplane flights began in 1925 by the Italian company Anonima Aerospresso Italiana, which had two seaplanes, they flew from Flisvos (Faliro, Athens) to Istanbul in order to transport goods and mail letters, but stopped because of the Second World war. Obviously, after the war, it was not possible to continue the cooperation with Italian company and so the company “Hydroplane” did not survive.
Meanwhile, since 2000 several attempts about the reappearance of Hydroplane took place in Greek market, but all had the same denominator, which was the lack of the appropriate regulatory framework.
A year before the EU pressures led the Greek state to enact a modern Law 4146/2013, titled “Configuring a friendly and developmental Environment for Strategic and Private Investments and other provisions “, Government Gazette No. 90, Date. Ed. 04.18.13 Articles 32-57, Licensing waterways. Providing the opportunity to obtain a new license or renew the old license for a commercial use. This new license will be indefinite with the compliance requirements and security (Article 39, par. 9).
According to statements of all market players, the integration of Hydroplane in Greek Coastal market is a necessity and also an effective, safe and economical way of travelers and goods transport. Indeed, it is estimated that will boost tourism in Greece, a really great relief to the islanders that will solve interconnection problems between the islands.
During the high-level conference for Insularity in the Eugenides Foundation under the Greek EU Presidency (April 2014), the Deputy Minister of Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, Mr. Michalis Papadopoulos said that «The messages we receive are encouraging and soon expected to issue the first licenses waterways in Corfu, Volos and Lavrio, also the interest is increased in: Paxos, Heraklion, Zakynthos, Patras, Lefkada, Milos, Skyros, Crete, Vegoritida, Skiathos, Katerini, Halkidiki, Patmos, Kalamata, Milos and Thessaloniki are just a few of the areas concerned».
In the same direction was also moved the speech of the President & Chief Executive Officer of the ‘Hellenic Hydroplanes’ company, Mr. Nikolas Charalambous stated that «Given the insular geography of Greece with hundreds of inhabited islands, waterways and operation of hydroplanes will highlight the dimensions of insularity, both in national and European level».
We have to expect very soon by Greek state to have arranged all the prerequisites about the flight of the Hydroplane in Greek sky, in a difficult economic period in which our country looking for a modernization of the Coastal shipping in order to enhance its heavy industry, the Tourism.
Source: Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks