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Canary Islands could be first place in Spain to get flying ships 

The Canary Islands wants to become a pioneer and introduce flying sea ships which could connect all of the islands.

The Government of the Canary Islands is urging the central government to introduce regulations to authorise this new form of maritime transport. The planes would sail on an “air mattress” without contact with the sea surface and would make Spain a pioneer in Europe in this field.

Canarian vice-president and public works and transport councillor, Pablo Rodríguez said that in the case of the Canary Islands, the service would be operated by the company Ciwing.

In November 2017, at the request of the Government of the Canary Islands, the General Directorate of Marine Trade launched a specialised working group for the development of a Spanish regulation to commercially exploit this type of transport.

Representatives of the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy, the International Maritime Organisation, representatives of the division of naval systems of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA-CEHIPAR) and members of the company Ciwing participated.

Since its creation and after a dozen technical meetings, the working group approved on February 6th a definitive proposal for regulations for NVR, which must now begin processing to be approved as a legal standard.

The NVRs were regulated for civil use by the Inter-national Maritime Organisation in 2002. The design features and materials used are more similar to those of an aircraft than those of traditional vessels but are legally ships and its regulation depends, therefore, on the maritime authority.

However, given their peculiarities, they need a demanding regulatory development in each country so that they can operate and train their crew.

Currently only Russia, Korea and China have a specific national regulation for this type of ships that allows their exploitation and no country of the European Union had developed a regulation for the time being.

It is understood the flying ships would cover the route between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 30 minutes, travelling at around 200km an hour.

Tests could be carried out in next summer with a view to a full service in June 2021. The planes would probably have capacity for eight people (six passengers and two crew members).