Bulgaria’s Shumen Looking for Licensed Hot-Air Balloon Pilot
Shumen has become Bulgaria’s first municipality to own a hot air balloon certified by the country’s Civil Aviation Administration, BGNES news outlet reported on Friday
The municipality in northeastern Bulgaria is now looking for a licensed pilot to be able to use the balloon as a tourist attraction, according to the the head of Shumen Municipal Tourism Company Dobromir Zhekov.
The balloon, manufactured by Kubicek Balloons in Brno, the Czech Republic, is carrying the marking LZ-SHI.
The municipality plans to apply for a certificate for the second balloon it owns at a later stage, Zhekov said.
Shumen bought the two balloons from Kubicek for BGN 109,000 in 2013 under a EU-funded project.
Now the municipality needs to find a licensed pilot to fly the hot-air balloon on a commercial basis. Bulgaria can offer no courses for that type of pilot training and there are no licensed balloon pilots in the country, according to Zhekov.
The municipality plans to hold talks with private balloon owners as well as pilots who have flown balloons at sports competitions in a bid to overcome the hurdle.
In addition, the municipality needs to be licensed as an air flight operator to be able to use the balloon as a tourist attraction, according to the Civil Aviation Administration.
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