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Seaplane pilots offer rides over Lake Geneva

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Seaplane flights are a rarity in Switzerland. Photo: H Michael Miley
10:34 CEST+02:00
The Seaplane Pilots Association Switzerland (SPAS) is offering members of the public a rare chance to ride in a seaplane over Lake Geneva from Le Bouveret in the canton of Valais this weekend.

From Friday August 7th to Monday 10th around 10 seaplanes will take paying passengers over Lake Geneva during a seaplane meet organized by the association at Le Bouveret.

A 20 minute flight will cost 160 francs.

The fare will help to pay off the 5,000 franc cost of the permit to fly, organiser Pascal Balet told newspaper Tribune de Genève.

“The public must make the most of this opportunity because permits are rarely granted,” Balet told the paper.

“We’ve only obtained eight so far this year. It’s incomprehensible. A seaplane makes much less noise than a traditional plane.”

Founded in 1999 and currently counting 160 members, SPAS calls itself “an association for the promotion of seaplane operations in Switzerland and nearby countries”.

It organizes a number of one-off events across the country.

With its many lakes, Switzerland is “the perfect place for seaplane operations,” SPAS says on its website.

But it goes on to lament the lack of seaplane operations in the country.

“Only a few places can be flown into using floats [seaplanes]” it says.

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