Parks and Wildlife has been asked to consider the landing of seaplanes on the Swan River as part of a commercial operation. In an effort to gauge the community’s view on this activity, a commercial seaplane operation has been approved on a trial basis on Perth Water. The trial has now begun and will run until 10 June 2017.
The trial will involve Catalina Airlines’ two-passenger Grumman ‘Sea-Cat’ seaplane, VH-KKD. The aircraft will land and take off up to eight times per day (i.e. combined maximum of 16 aircraft movements) between the hours of 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 5pm Sunday and public holidays.
The majority of landings and take-offs will occur adjacent to the east side of the Mends Street channel or the south side of the Riverside Drive channel. During unusual wind conditions other locations in Perth Water may also be used.
Environmental and social aspects associated with the seaplane movements were considered by Parks and Wildlife, including noise measurements being conducted, prior to the operation beginning. Wildlife monitoring and environmental management procedures have also been put in place by the operator. Air and marine safety aspects of the trial operation have been assessed separately by the relevant authorities, including the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Department of Transport.
An overall assessment of the seaplane operation will be undertaken upon completion of the trial, including consideration of any public comments received during the trial period. Future decisions on the long-term use of the Swan River for commercial seaplane operations will be informed by this assessment.