One step closer to the seaplanes' mega project
One step closer to the seaplanes' mega project

One step closer to the seaplanes' mega project

The mega project of seaplanes and the operation of waterways is getting closer and closer to...take-off, as their construction and licensing procedures are in full swing throughout Greece.
RE+D magazine

The construction and licensing processes throughout the country are in full swing.


The goal is to have about 150 waterways operating in five years, creating the largest network in all of Europe. According to the president and CEO of Hellenic Seaplanes SA, Nikolas Charalambous and the president of Hellenic Waterways, Anastasios Govas, the leadership of the companies, that run the waterways' licensing process, aspires to turn Greece into Europe's Maldives, with the creation of 2,000 direct and 5,000 indirect jobs, to "rewrite" the map of transport in our country and, when fully developed, to contribute to the Greek economy by over 1 billion euros.

According to him, this is a project that brings investments of over 300 million euros in five years, through the construction of waterways (over 50 million euros), the purchase of aircrafts, at least 20 during the first 5 years (about 130 million), and the creation of a seaplane pilot training school, among others.

They may have had to jump through hoops for procedures of the project to be complited, while there were further delayed last year, due to the the pandemic, but the preparations did not stop. The following report includes the analysis of the phase of each of the waterways undertaken by the two companies, Hellenic Seaplanes S.A. and Hellenic Waterways PC, that have committed themselves to carry out the difficult task of creating a national network of waterways, while it defines the next steps to be followed, for a positive outcome of all future projects.

"We will continue to utilize and build on what we have achieved so far, to ensure that our planning for the implementation of the licenses of the waterways that we have undertaken is progressing fast and consistently. At the same time, we are defining the new locations - targets that are potential destinations and could have their own waterway along the way. Greece will soon have the largest network of waterways in Europe and in the world," said Mr. Charalambous.

The president of Hellenic Waterways PC, Anastasios Govas stated in this regard: "We are working systematically in order to create an extensive network of waterways in Greece. The existence of licensed waterways is a necessary condition for the safe operation of seaplanes which, through their flights, will contribute to the development of the islands' local economies, to the upgrading of their tourism and consequently to the improvement of the quality of life of their inhabitants".

Regarding the developments around the waterways, these refer to the technical files for the waterways throughout the country, on which the two companies have been active for a long time and will build the network on which organized flights of passengers with seaplanes will operate. The completion of the waterway network and the start of the flight project, institutionally fortified, pave the way for attracting individual investments, as companies from Greece and abroad are expected to make moves to acquire a share of the new "pie" that will be created. .

According to the information from the two companies:

- The waterways in South Aegean with the union of the companies Hellenic Seaplanes, Hellenic Waterways and Optimum Value are at a very advanced level, as the environmental impact studies and noise studies for the islands are completed: Mykonos, Kythnos, Sikinos, Serifos, Anos Halki, Symi, Tilos, Karpathos, Kastelorizo, Agathonisi, Nisyros, Astypalea, Paros, Kos, Milos, Syros, Kalymnos, Lipsi, Leros, Ios and Kasos. The licensing files of the islands of Donoussa, Agathonisi, Symi and Anafi are at an advanced stage. Soon all the technical files will be completed, with the competent department of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport as the final recipient.

- For the Ioannina waterway (Lake Pamvotida) the perfect cooperation of the two companies with the public bodies participating in the project is confirmed once again, as the locations in the candidate areas intended to create the project have been completed and the environmental and noise studies have been programmed to be launched in the near future.

- Regarding the Killini waterway, with the completion of the location processes, Hellenic Seaplanes S.A. and Hellenic Waterways PC are regulating the latest technical details, always in collaboration with the Port Fund of Kyllini, so that they are ready to submit the technical file of the waterway licensing to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in February.

- In Evia, everything has taken its course, as the environmental studies have now been completed in all five waterways of the island and specifically in Chalkida, Edipsos, Karystos, Aliveri and Kimi. The action plan that has been put on the table has the ultimate goal of the competent bodies giving simultaneous approval to the permits of all five waterways in Evia.

- For the Volos waterway, following the submission of all the application documents, the association Hellenic Seaplanes S.A. and Optimum Value await the final approval of the establishment permit from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.

- In Tinos and Skyros, the construction works of the waterways are under way. After the elimination of the urban barriers, the construction plan has been defined and it is expected that the inauguration of these two waterways will take place by Spring.

- Chios, Psara and Oinousses are relaunching  their implementation trajectory.

- Waterways are planned in Ereikoussa, Othonos, Mathraki, the three beautiful islands north of Corfu. "Hellenic Waterways" has completed the preparation of the Technical Files for the three waterways that will submitted to the Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport as a contractor of the "Corfu Port Organization" which has jurisdiction over the ports of the Diapontian Islands.

- Amfilochia waterway is defined by Hellenic Seaplanes S.A. to the overnight point of the seaplanes on the Ionian side and the final approval is expected from the Municipality of Amfilochia.

- Crete starts dynamically, with 7 waterways on the island. Starting with the Rethymnon waterway, Sitia, Heraklion, Ierapetra, Chania, Malevizi and Agia Galini will then follow.

- On the initiative of the Peloponnese Regional Governor Mr. Nikas, the licensing of a waterway on Lake Taka began.

- Patmos continues the completion of the construction of the waterway, after the issuance of the relevant Government Gazette for urban planning. After the elimination of urban barriers, its construction will be completed immediately.

- In Skopelos and Alonissos, the latest licensing documents are finalized and the construction is starting.

- The start of the licensing process is also expected by the governor of Attica G. Patoulis in the proposed design of the two companies, for the creation of a network of waterways in the islands of the Saronic Gulf and the coasts of the Attica region.

Many waterways are on their way to completion or in the process of licensing, but that doesn't stop Hellenic Seaplanes S.A. and Hellenic Waterways to make their plan for the further approach of organizations and port funds and other coastal areas or islands, to obtain a waterway establishment permit.

The contribution of the airlines is twofold, as a Pilot Training Academy will be created, allong with an extended cooperation, concerning the offer of common "packages" of tickets, or the complementary operation of the seaplanes to traditional air planes, for the transport of passengers to or from conventional airports and to or from waterways.