Loch Lomond Seaplanes has cleared a key hurdle in its quest to form Europe's first scheduled seaplane operation. The Scottish company, which operates a five-seat Cessna T206 Stationair for ad hoc charter and sightseeing tours around the region, received a temporary exception to the UK Civil Aviation Authority's low-flying rule, enabling Loch Lomond to take off and land on Glasgow's waterfront.

This area in the Scottish city will be the base for the country's first licensed water aerodrome. No provision exists in the UK covering the establishment and operation of these facilities, says Loch Lomond Seaplanes founder and managing director David West, but the CAA is in the process of drawing up new regulations which are scheduled for publication shortly.

"We hope to get the new service running by the middle of next year, initially serving Glasgow to the Kintyre peninsula in south-west Scotland," West says. "There is huge demand for this type of service from local businesses and individuals looking to avoid this road journey, which can take up to 3h against 15min by seaplane", he says.

Source: Flight International