Loch Ness sea planes terminal row
By Donald Wilson Published: 01 April, 2010
PLANS for a huge floating terminal which could rival Tyneside's famous "Angel of the North" have surfaced on Loch Ness to bring in well-heeled tourists from around the world by seaplane. But the controversial idea could be scuppered by a determined campaign by the green lobby, which is even enlisting the protection of Nessie to its cause.A new and ambitious plan by a consortium of Highland businessmen will be submitted today (Thursday) to Highland Council's planning department which the developers say will complement two new harbours planned on the loch at the Clansman Hotel and further south towards Drumnadrochit. A top Italian designer has been recruited by the consortium, headed by Willie Cameron of Loch Ness Marketing, to create an iconic floating seaplane terminal. Speaking exclusively to the Highland News about the proposals, Willie said: "This is a golden opportunity to tap into a new market to bring tourists to the loch and put Loch Ness on the international aviation map." Apart from the legend of Nessie, the loch is in a stunning setting which few people get to see from the air. We hope we can fill that gap in the market for niche holidays which will bring millions of pounds in additional revenue to the area." Designer Rolf Lapio has been hired to create a terminal which in itself could become a tourist attraction. He was behind two failed aviation platforms on Lake Garda and Lake Como in the North of Italy. But Mr Cameron has no doubts that the plan for Loch Ness would be a success. "Rolf Lapio is a genius and I am convinced he can design a floating iconic structure for Loch Ness which could possibly become as famous as the Angel of the North," he said. Two local businessmen, Fraser Campbell and Rory Cameron, of Cobbs Bakery, are already taking flying lessons in anticipation of being able to fly out of Loch Ness when the new terminal opens. Mr Cameron said: "It's a very exciting development and it has inspired me to learn to fly. Hopefully if we get the go-ahead we will have international clientele from all over the world flying into this iconic loch and they will be able to enjoy the spectacularly scenery around Loch Ness and the Highlands. "What a fantastic experience it will be to offer visitors and indeed business people visiting the area who may be inspired by what they see to invest their money in the Highlands." Mr Cameron added: "From the environmental and safety perspectives, I don't see any major issues. Seaplanes already fly out of Loch Lomond, so why not Loch Ness? "The loch is 24 miles long and nearly two miles wide - a one-mile floating airstrip will have little or no effect on the visual impact."Rolf Lapio is an expert at getting his designs to blend in with the local landscape and I am sure he will produce something really special for what is a very special place." But a spokesman for the newly-formed protest group, Flights Off Our Loch, said: "This is outrageous. Apart from ruining the scenic imagery of the loch, Nessie will never surface again if she's going to be buzzed by planes. The tourist industry would be ruined if there are no more sightings." Source: http://www.highland-news.co.uk/news/printpage.php/aid/7242/Loch_Ness_sea_planes_terminal_row.html
Interesting that Nessie is being used as an excuse to stop tourism instead of promoting it.I must admit being buzzed by a seaplane wouldn’t do much for the peace and quiet of the Loch.
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