EU: Bureaucracy Slows Saltenfly AS Down
“It has taken longer than we had hoped.” A sentence heard over and over when speaking with entrepreneurs seeking to get a Seaplane Operation on the step on the European continent. “We should have started this summer! Vegard Bøthun – one of four entrepreneurs behind Saltenfly AS we recently shared pictures from, explains. The company that plans to operate airline – and sightseeing services in the Bodø and Salten area has not yet managed to land all the necessary permits and approvals to start commercial activity.
“We are missing a technical approval on the aircraft. In addition, we are still waiting for approval of the flight operations we are going to do. Everything is going forward, but not as fast as we hoped.” The former jet pilot is fulfilling a dream with this new endeavor.
Like for many others before him and those who are crazy enough to think about starting something new in Europe always learn – bureaucracy is the single biggest hurdle one could ever encounter in this part of the world which wishes to present itself as so progressive and future- oriented.
When asked for a estimated timeline, Bøthun says: “We’re still hoping to launch before Christmas, but in reality, if we manage to start flying at the beginning of the season 2019, we’d count that as a success. Having said that, in principle we can fly all year long, but certainly, our season to use the plane on water is limited.”
The beautiful Cessna 206 with amphibious 3450’s is approved for training and requests for training are hailing in, despite not being quite ready to go from a regulatory standpoint. While waiting for the various agencies to come around, the company focuses on keeping its pilots current and the airplane airworthy.
Daniel Boden, who successfully runs Scandinavian Skies from four different locations in Norway, is in positive spirits to see his colleagues succeed in getting things done. Norway offers a stunning coastline that measures around 31.000 NM, counting it’s many islands and fjords. Opportunities are almost unlimited and conditions for safe seaplane flying are nearly perfect.
Norways regulations allow seaplanes to land almost everywhere on coastal water whereas fresh water lakes are predominantly restricted. However, commercial operators are given special approvals compared to private airplanes. Additionally, Norway offers a long and rich history with seaplanes.
We believe there will be a good market for sightseeing”says Bøthun – who stands behind Saltenfly together with Lars Holten, Trond Ertsgaard and Erlend Hagen. All four have solid experience as fighter pilots and enough experience with aviation to deliver a top show. We can’t wait to see them succeed and get on the step!