The ministries of Transport and Shipping are expected to cooperate with Greek privatization fund TAIPED and other competent bodies in order to create Greece’s first waterway network in the Ionian Sea, local press reports said on Monday.
The news followed a meeting held on Sunday between operators of the Corfu waterway and representatives from a Chinese fund that has invested in the construction a new type of seaplane, the Dornier Seastar.
Taking under consideration that the Corfu waterway is so far the only one in the country with official licensing, the country’s first waterway network will be located in the Ionian. Thus licenses are expected to be granted soon for waterways at the destinations of Paxi, Patra, Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Lefkada.
TAIPED board member, Aggelos Vlachos, told the Athens News Agency that based on the current legislative framework and positive political will, it is reasonable to believe that a small waterway network will be available in Greece in the coming months.
Currently, over 50 applications for waterways are awaiting approval. The infrastructure ministry is expected to soon prepare a new draft law with the aim to accelerate the licensing procedure.
According to Mr Vlachos, the waterway on Paxi should be licensed in the next few days.
Tasos Govas, the president of Water Airports, the company which operates the waterway on Corfu, said that the goal is to have five to six licensed waterways in the Ionian in order for a fully operational network to function in Greece for seaplane companies to be able to form flight programs.
Over the next two months, the waterway in Patra, which has a strategic importance for the wider region of Western Greece, is expected to receive its license for operation.
Also present at the meeting was the president of the company Dornier Seastar, Conrado Dornie, who applauded Greece’s progress.
“Corfu will be the starting point and the center of the Ionian Islands network and have connections to Italy… All models of seaplanes could be used. We can finally connect the sky to the sea”, Mr Dornie said.