Tags: turkey | airbus | artificial reef | kusadasi

Turkey's Airbus Artificial Reef Seeks to Attract Divers, Tourists

Image: Turkey's Airbus Artificial Reef Seeks to Attract Divers, Tourists
(Twitter/@DailySabah)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jun 2016 10:22 AM

Authorities in Turkey sank an A300 Airbus to create an artificial reef off the Aegean coast near the resort town of Kuşadasi on Saturday.

The huge airplane, measuring about 175-feet long, was brought to the town on five trucking rigs, the Daily Sabah reported. Lifting cranes, heavy construction equipment, and divers were involved in the sinking, which took about 2.5 hours.

Local officials expect the new artificial reef to attract 250,000 domestic and foreign tourists per year to explore the underwater ecosystem.

Aydin municipality bought the 36-year-old airplane from a private company for about $93,000, Agence France-Presse reported via The Guardian.

“Our goal is to make Kuşadası a center of diving tourism. Our goal is to protect the underwater life. And with these goals in mind, we have witnessed one of the biggest wrecks in the world,” Aydin mayor Özlem Çerçioğlu said.

Condé Nast Traveler explained that artificial reefs are becoming more popular among divers as natural coral reefs around the world are shrinking, but noted that "it may take months for local marine life to start building an ecosystem within the plane's cabin and cockpit."

In recent years, Turkish officials have sunk three smaller planes near resort towns to promote tourism, but this is the first time such a large airplane has been used, The Daily Mail reported.

Some experts have questioned whether artificial reefs serve as a benefit or hindrance to the ecosystem, The Washington Post reported, noting that possible failures include attracting fish from other locations rather than boosting populations, as well as the risk of overfishing. But sea life have inhabited sunken planes before.

Hundreds of spectators watched and cheered the sinking, and videos of the event were posted online.



Twitter users shared mixed reactions to the sinking.







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Authorities in Turkey sank an A300 Airbus to create an artificial reef off the Aegean coast near the resort town of Kuşadasi on Saturday.
turkey, airbus, artificial reef, kusadasi
383
2016-22-07
Tuesday, 07 Jun 2016 10:22 AM
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