By Margaret Sheard ….
Having visited Geçitkale Airport on a number of occasions and written about our experiences and the fantastic air sports opportunities which are available, we were interested to learn more about another new introduction – Air Tour North Cyprus which operates under the direct control of Serkan Ozcezarli, under the umbrella of the TRNC Air Sports Federation. Serkan can be contacted on 0548 834 9686.
We made another visit recently and met up with Pilot, Peter Fabry, who was that day taking a group of 4 people on a tour of the Karpaz area. Peter told us he has only recently moved to North Cyprus and he is very keen to be able to show people the wonder of this part of the island from the air.
While he was waiting for his group to arrive, Peter told us a little about himself. He is of Belgian nationality and has always had a love of flying. His father and brother are both pilots and Peter actually flew a glider at the age of 14 years. At the age of 15 years and 3 months, in his 16th birthday year, he was allowed to fly solo in a glider.
From Geçitkale Airport, Peter flies a 6 seater Cessna aircraft for air tours and it is also used for skydiving for those brave enough to try it.
The passengers arrived for their air tour and Peter took the aircraft off for re-fuelling and when he returned the passengers boarded and off they went for an hour’s tour of the Karpaz. More details are also available on the Facebook page: Air Tour North Cyprus.
Air Tour North Cyprus offers a private flight tour service giving an excellent opportunity to explore the beautiful coastline and historical sites. They recommend contact being made in advance and although last minute calls are welcomed, availability cannot be guaranteed.
The aircraft is a US made Cessna 210, single engine aircraft, which will allow 4 passengers plus their guide and the pilot. It is a high wing construction which makes it extremely stable and perfect for sightseeing. The Cessna 210 is also equipped with a special door which can be opened in flight for aerial photography.
Flights can be of 30-40 minute or 1 hour 10 minutes/1hr 20 minutes duration. Children are welcome but if a child is under 5 years old, consultation will need to be made with the Air Tour staff. There are weight limit regulations and when booking you will be asked for your weight and that of any luggage/equipment you will be taking on board, but it is advised that only necessary belongings should be carried. It is recommended that passengers weighing 265lbs (120kg) or more should not apply to use the air tour service.
Trips are tailor made therefore individual quotations are provided for each trip. Generally current prices are as shown below, both with a minimum of 4 and maximum of 5 passengers.
- Full Karpaz Air Tour: 130€ or £120
- Shortened Air Tour: 90€ or £80
For booking or additional information please telephone +90 542 886 9408
We decided to wait for their return and during this time were pleased to see Serkan Ozcezarli arrive, accompanied by his twin daughters, Cansu and Göksu who are both learning to fly the Gyrocopter. The girls are 18 years old and have had 8 hours training so far from the 30 hours needed to apply for a licence, Serkan said they had been flying with him since they were 3 years old, hence their love of the sky. We saw Cansu off for her hour’s training with instructor Ahmet and later Göksu cycled to the landing area to take over and complete her own hour’s training and we followed her to see the Gyrocopter coming to land and changeover of trainee pilots. I have enjoyed the experience of flying in the Gyrocopter myself when Serkan took me up for a short flight and I have very much admiration for these two young ladies who are learning to fly at such a young age. To see the article of my own experience Click here.
Serkan told us of his hopes and dreams of expanding the Air Sports Federation with a hangar for visiting private aircraft and also training schools with accommodation at the airport for students, however, all of this would need a huge financial input, which is not available at the moment. The TRNC Air Sports Federation are trying very hard to promote this alternative type of tourism attraction, and they are in fact doing much more now than when we first visited them.
We hope that the Federation will go from strength to strength and expand their services for the benefit of tourism and those who love flying. This is yet another great achievement in North Cyprus to encourage visitors to come to this lovely part of the island of Cyprus.
Photos by CyprusScene and Peter Fabry. Video by Ian Marr flying over Salamis is shown below.