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article imageModern aviation history in Split, Croatia as ECA hydroplane lands Special

By Paul Bradbury     Aug 20, 2014 in Travel
Split - After 13 years of battling bureaucracy, a European Coastal Airlines hydroplane finally lands on the Adriatic in Split, Croatia.
It is the sight that many believed would never happen, but shortly after 13:50 local time on August 20, 2014, a European Coastal Airlines hydroplane landed on the Adriatic close to Split Airport — an event witnessed by Digital Journal — the first such landing in a new chapter in modern aviation history in Europe, continuing a hydroplane tradition in Croatia which had until now stopped more than 70 years ago.
The hydroplane, flown by experienced pilot Captain Mark Poppleton with many years of service in the Maldives, is part of a young fleet of the airline company which plans to revolutionise transportation between Croatia and its islands, for the benefit of both tourists and islanders alike.
Today's inaugural flight from nearby Split Airport was part of a rigorous test by the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority, the final check after a long 13-year journey to the start of what will be the first modern scheduled hydroplane service in Europe, and a true revolution for tourism in coastal life in Croatia, which is currently dominated by lengthy ferry journey times.
After 13 very long years  a European Coastal Airlines Twin Otter hydroplane lands on the Adriatic.
After 13 very long years, a European Coastal Airlines Twin Otter hydroplane lands on the Adriatic.
Once approval has been received by the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority, flights could begin as soon as tomorrow, with the first scheduled flight named from the Split Airport sea port to Jelsa on the island of Hvar. The journey will take just 13 minutes.
"This is a proud day for my entire team who have been working hard to accomplish what has been a long run to overcome bureaucracy, a marathon" ECA CEO Captain Klaus Dieter Martin told Digital Journal. "I am also very proud. We are looking forward to increase connectivity to the islands for tourists and Croatian citizens alike.
"This really revitalise the islands and extend the season. If you can imagine 70 years ago there were better connections to the islands, with hydroplanes. This must change, and we are happy to play our part to make that change."
European Coastal Airlines has installed a webcam, from where interested parties can check out the latest from the headquarters of the hydroplane operation. Watch it here.
More about klaus dieter martin, european coastal airlines, Croatia, split croatia, hydroplanes croatia
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