Arrival of 11 light aircraft in Greece as part of the “European Cirrus Rally 2021”.
The European Cirrus Rally 2021, has completed a successful passage through Greece. The event was facilitated by the Hellenic Pilots Association and co-organized by the German Pilotravel travel agency, as well as the Cirrus Aircraft Germany.
Eleven (11) private light aircraft, 8 of which were Cirrus SR22, arrived in Greece from central Europe, as part of an aviation rally which commenced in Berlin and flew all the way through to Kastelorizo island, the most southeastern part of Greece.
The participating aircraft were some of the most technologically advanced light aircraft produced today. The Cirrus aircraft possess a ballistic recovery system, as part of their standard equipment, for a vertical landing in an emergency. This system is regarded as one of the most advanced safety systems for light aircraft of our century.
The itinerary of the aviation rally commenced in Germany and continued all the way through to Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Slovenia, with a final return to Germany. Whilst in Greece, the visiting aircraft landed at the airport of Ioannina, in Syros island and in Kastellorizo island, while their crew, about 30 pilots and passengers stayed in luxurious hotels at each of the destinations.
On Sunday the 3rd of October, and upon landing in Syros Island airport, called “Dimitrios Vikelas”, the vice mayor, Mr Panagiotis Koutavas, kindly prepared a warm welcome to the aviation visitors, with a free selection of localized products, snacks and Syros beer, inside the terminal of the airport. Aviation enthusiasts, as well as schoolchildren from the island had the opportunity to visit the small regional airport to view the arriving aircraft and learn about the essence of this “thematic” tourism, called “aviation tourism” and “General Aviation”.
On Tuesday the 5th of October, the 11 aircraft took off from Syros airport and followed the airways, crossing a most scenic Aegean Sea, towards Kastelorizo while overflying Santorini and Rhodes islands to mention but a few.
While fairly unknown, the idea of the selection of Kastelorizo island as an alternative, “exotic” aviation destination of the Mediterranean, was proven to be a great success, said Dr Chris Leontopoulos, of the Hellenic Pilots Association. Kastelorizo combines a pilot-challenging 800m short “aircraft-carrier” type of runway, an ultra-picturesque landscape together with sunny weather and magnificent beaches even during the month of October. Upon safe landing, the aviators received a nice treat, kindly prepared by the vice mayor of the island, Mr Efstratios Amygdalos, with plenty of free local delicacies and drinks. To ensure that the arrival of the aircraft and crew was smooth, safe and efficient, albeit the very small airport parking space, the Commander of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, Mr George Dritsakos himself arrived at the airport to assist during the arrival and welcome of the aviators.
The president of the Hellenic Pilots Association, Mr George Tsiprianis, explained: “We are proud to be able to assist in the development of aviation tourism by leveraging the advantages of the magnificent landscape, the climate and the very good density of airports, hoping to overcome the bureaucratic difficulties and the problems associated with General Aviation in Greece and making the country much more attractive to our European aviators”.
And a live video complimenting this report: