Airbus to be sunk off Kuşadası as tourism project
AYDIN – Doğan News AgencyAn Airbus A300 will be sunk in the Aegean Sea off Kuşadası to serve as a reef and attract diving tourists in the resort town as part of a municipal project.
The airplane, which was brought to the Güzelçamlı neighborhood of the town via five trucking rigs after being dismantled in Istanbul, will be sunk in the Kuşadası gulf on May 28.
The plane, which was reported to be the biggest to be used as a reef, cost 270,000 Turkish Liras and has a 54-meter-long body and 44-meter-wide wings.
“With this project, the aim is to increase the underwater diversity off Kuşadası and to develop diving tourism in the town. We expect some 250,000 national and foreign tourists per year to come here for diving. With the project, Kuşadası will hopefully close this summer … with the fewest losses and will make the people of [Kuşadası] and the people in this business smile. In short, May 28 will be a milestone for Kuşadası tourism,” said Aydın Metropolitan Mayor Özlem Çerçioğlu.
Parts of the plane are slated to be sunk with lifting cranes, while heavy construction equipment will also be used to maintain control during the process. Floating balloons will be tied to parts of the plane after they are brought to the area. The plane will later be brought down 20 to 25 meters on its body with the help of professional divers in a process that is expected to last 2.5 hours.
The project is not the first plane to be submerged for diving tourism in Turkey, as there have been three other small-sized planes that have been sunk off the southern province of Antalya and its Kaş and Kemer districts since 2009. Another plane was also sunk in the Akçakoca district of the northwestern province of Düzce to serve as a reef.