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Aero Club Como
Associazione sportiva dilettantistica
federata all'Aero Club d'Italia e al CONI
Via Masia 44
20100 Como ITALY
info@aeroclubcomo.com
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Special aspects of the Como seaplane base

 

 

The Como seaplane base in historical publications for pilots

Here are some documents of the past, used by pilots; they act as a testimony that Como has had a strong aeronautical vocation since the beginning of flight.

 

Campo Garibaldi indicated as a flight field in 1913.

Here is an excerpt of the aeronautical yearbook of 1913 that lists areas for landing in the national territory. Como is amongst the provinces mentioned in the yearbook, and is one of the areas that hold the most areas for landing and takeoff. The primary area for landing in Como is described in the handbook as being at Campo Garibaldi, where the flight show was held in 1913, on this site in the current day is where the hangar is located along with the base's ground infrastructure.

 

Old pilot handbooks.
 

The yearbook offers a lot of interesting information.

The landing area of Maslianico is the ride track, where Attilio Maffei landed in 1912.

We learn also that at the moment of the publication the area is used as golf course by the clients of Grand Hotel Villa d'Este.
At Rovellasca the landing field was one of the town's squares, of 200m by 250m, testimony to how at the time public squares were considered as usable by a wide range of people and activities.
Here we also have a page dedicated to the seaplane base of Como from the Italian tourist guide, published by the Aero Club Italy. Next to it we have a map from a pilot handbook from the 60's, the landing and takeoff site has remained the same in Como since 1913.

 

 

 

 

 


  

Seaplanes visiting the base at Como

The seaplane base has been a stop off and crossing point for many seaplanes, here below are a few of them.

 

De Havilland at the seaplane base. Left, a Twin Otter; right, a Vazar Otter.

 

Two giant aircraft in Como: the Grumman Albatross (left) and the Dornier DO 24.
 
Water landing surfaces

In Italy the law provides seaplanes the possibility to operate freely on any water surface opened to the public boat traffic, the only requirement being that they are suitable for safe takeoff and landing procedures.
The Como territory therefore includes, as well as the seaplane base, many further water surfaces for operations.
There are two types of water surfaces, those for occasional use and those for permanent use. The ones used occasionally can be instated anywhere, whereas permanent ones require much more complex legislation as well as to be managed.
Operations on the water surface don't require exclusive use of a stretch of water; it is for this reason that seaplanes have very little if any at all impact on the surrounding areas. Seaplanes move alongside other forms of transport on the water without any problems. 
 

Permant watersurface of Lenno, Porlezza and Pusiano. Right, the water surface of Campione d'Italia.

The Aero Club Como, as well as at the international seaplane base, operate occasionally on many other water surfaces such as those at Lenno, Pusiano and Porlezza. The water surface of Campione d'Italia was opened temporarily by the Aero Club Como. It's an Italian enclave in Switzerland, requiring special customs procedures to operate.

 
Civil protection activities at the seaplane base

The seaplane base of Como is often used for civil protection exercises, performed with fire-fighting aircraft and helicopters, alongside other water and land based vehicles.

To know more go to the page Seaplanes and the environment.

 

Operations of Canadair at the base. Right. Exercises of civil protection.

 

  A rescue helicopter of Como landing on the apron of the seaplane base during a rescue operation.

 

Special vehicles at the seaplane base

The slipway of the seaplane base Como allows for operations possible in very few other locations in the Lower Alps, such as those for amphibious cars and hovercraft.

Left, a small hovercraft of the civil protection. Right, an amphibious car.
 

  

An area subject to natural disasters

The area of the seaplane base is periodically struck by natural disasters, as is clear from the images presented here. The club, with its organisation generally restore the facilities to operate; on several occasions seaplanes have been floated in and out of the hangar.

Operations in a flooded hangar. The Piper floating con motor leaving the hangar.

 

Water had flooded the ground area of the base. Right, rubbish carried and deposited by the flood.

  

The waste accumulated on the water surface, dangerous obstacles for boats and seaplanes.

  

The dredgers load vehicles to transport the waste away. The tractor of the Aero Club Como clearing
the yard from extreme snow.

 

     
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