Getting Seaplanes Flying In Colorado
Fox News Denver recently ran a piece on the efforts born under the lead of Ray Hawkins, who’s declared goal is (and has been for many years) to open minds and create dialog with authorities to enable seaplane flying in the state of Colorado. The state is world- renowned for its outdoor and recreational opportunities, but remains spectacularly skeptical of the idea to allow seaplanes on its lakes and rivers.
Hawkins, has been tireless in his efforts. These days, Colorado has only one officially registered and charted and privately owned Seaplane Base; Ordway – Lake Meredith Seaplane Base (CO1). Sporting a 10.000 feet water runway, operating on the lake requires pilots to have their aircraft inspected for aquatic nuisance species prior to arrival. While this puts those with straight floats at a disadvantage, its safe to assume that the practice is getting more common in the United States. Even though seaplanes have never been scientifically linked to the introduction of IAS, the game is rigged against our industry.
Colorado’s lakes and rivers are free of Zebra or Quagga mussels says Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Colorado is one of just a handful of states in the country that can claim such. Hawkins acknowledges that invasive species are a legitimate concern of authorities, however he also argues that seaplanes are not major carriers and that Colorado’s stance against seaplanes is discriminatory, as boats are permitted to use public water. Seaplane Magazine has reached out to the DNR to inquire on current and ongoing developments and to learn what the state is doing to allow fair and equal access.