First Permanent & Official Seaplane Base Opened In Belgium
August 7, 2017 – If NOTAM’s were supposed to be exciting, they would be written differently. Here s proof that most Waterflying people can get excited with such a simple NOTAM, though. Especially in Europe, where Seaplanes finally begin to experience positive growth, after decades of over-regulation and limited opportunities to foster and sustain a healthy industry. We appreciate this NOTAM and certainly don’t want to keep it from our readers.
NOTAM, Ref: B3451/17, From: 28 JUL 17 12:48 Till: PERM Text: EBEH, NEW WATER AIRPORT ESTABLISHED. FREQUENCY ‘PLATE TAILLE RADIO’ 130.125 MHZ. PPR, CONTACT BELGIAN SEAPLANE ASSOCIATION BY PHONE ON 003226699321 FOR DETAILS. WILL BE AMENDED IN AIP ACCORDINGLY
To get there was no walk in the park as the recent history reveals. Starting February 28, 2016, Laurent Gilson, Yves Cartilier and Rodolphe Vanbellingen established the “Belgian Seaplane Association” (BSA). It would be March 8th of 2017 before the Belgian Civil Aviation Authorities gave the permission for establishing a Seaplane Base (“Hydroaerodrome”) on “Lac de l’Eau d’Heure” to BSA. From there, things progressed relatively quickly as the groups first aircraft G-VWET was ferried from Cannes (LFMD) to its new home on March 17, 2017. Rodolphe Vanbellingen and Laurent Gilson had flown the beautiful Amphibian Lake home. The first official water-landing on the first permanent seaplane base in Belgium happened on April 23, 2017.
Training of new seaplane pilots began on July 21, 2017 and BSA refers to several helping hands, including Cesare Baj from Aeroclub Como in Italy in making it all possible. A truly historical moment for seaplane aviation in Belgium: “Lac de l’Eau d’Heure Hydrobase” (EBEH), the first permanent hydrobase in Belgium is now open and we are excited for them.