“The operation of waterways is a priority for us, because I am convinced of the necessity of this form of transport in our country,” Deputy Minister of Transportation Michalis Papadopoulos said during the High Level Conference on Islands and Insularity that took place recently in Athens.
According to Mr. Papadopoulos, licenses for the construction of waterways for Corfu, Volos and Lavrio will issued soon.
“Greece’s geographical map is ideal for the operation of seaplanes, which offer a fast, inexpensive and safe transport of people and goods,” he said.
Other Greek destinations that have expressed interest for waterways include Paxoi, the Diapontioi Island compex (Erikousa, Othoni, Mathraki), Heraklion, Zakynthos, Patra, Lefkada, Milos, Skyros, Vegoritida, Skiathos, Katerini, Chalkidiki, Patmos, Kalamata and Thessaloniki.
Seaplane routes were expected to launch in Greece this summer but the slow-moving process to obtain a license for the creation of waterways may put plans on hold for the 2014 tourism season.
Discussions for the development of a seaplane network in Greece go back to 2000 but, due to the lack of an institutional framework, plans never got off the ground.
Once waterways are constructed and seaplane routes are launched, Greek tourism is expected to benefit. The mode of transport will assist island residents and solve interconnection problems between the islands.