The “flying soldier” told the French news outlet that he’d gotten approval from civil aviation authorities but not maritime officials, who said that stationing a ship to refuel the flyboard would pose a risk in the busy shipping corridor.
“We have advised against the crossing because it is extremely dangerous given the traffic in the Channel, one of the busiest (shipping) straits in the world,” the French maritime authority reportedly said.
“This has made the challenge 10 times more difficult,” Zapata said, adding that he will refuel once midway instead of twice as he had planned. “It’s a completely arbitrary and unreasonable decision.”
During the Bastille Day celebration, French President Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and other leaders watched as Zapata flew high above the crowd brandishing a rifle.
According to The Guardian, Zapata’s flyboard is powered by five mini turbo engines and can reach speeds of up to 118 miles per hour.