New measures in effect for hot air balloons in Cappadocia


Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs, and Communications General Directorate of Civil Aviation put a series of measures into effect to prevent hot air balloon accidents in Turkey's popular tourist destination Cappadoccia.

A circular released by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation on June 14, 2013 emphasized the need of further measures as air traffic in Cappadocia increased.

Hot air ballons tours will take place twice a day, according to the circular. The first session will start 30 minutes before sunrise and end at 11 a.m. and a maximum of 100 balloons will be permitted to fly at the same time. The second session will begin at 2.30 p.m. and will go until half an hour after sunset and maximum 50 ballons will be permitted. 

Balloons without Global Positioning System (GPS) will not be given permit to fly as of September 15, 2013. The GPs data of all balloon trips will be transferred to servers where they will be kept for two years. 

Number of passengers will be determined by balloon capacity according to the standard set by the circular. 

A certified English speaking personnel will also need to be on board during trips.

Cappadocia, which is famous for its "fairy chimney" volcanic cones, has become a popular tourist attraction for hot-air balloon tours over past decade. Hot air balloon trips took place since 1997 and two accidents occurred resulting in death since then. The first accident that resulted in death occurred in 2009 in Avanos district of Nevsehir where one tourist died and ten others were injured. The second accident occurred May 20, 2013, three people lost their lives and 22 were injured.

Adapted from Anadolu Agency

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