From 2016 the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions trialled commercial seaplane operations on the Swan River.

Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian
Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian

The trial provided the opportunity to monitor seaplane operations, identify and consider the potential effects on the community, other uses and the river system, and gauge the community’s view of seaplane activities.

Aviation consultants were engaged to review technical aspects of the seaplane trial. Air and marine safety aspects of the trial operations were assessed by the relevant authorities, including the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Department of Transport. The review determined Perth Water to be the only suitable location for seaplane operations on the Swan and Canning rivers and made recommendations to better manage noise, refuelling and user conflicts. DBCA has developed Operational Guidelines for Seaplanes Licenced on Perth Water in accordance with that technical aviation advice.

The ongoing operation of seaplanes on Perth Water is supported through the Perth Water Locality Plan, subject to careful management of amenity impacts such as noise, hours of operation and number of flights.

In February 2020, DBCA called for expressions of interest to select the most suitably qualified individuals/organisations interested in establishing a commercial seaplane operation on Perth Water. Submissions were required to demonstrate that the requirements of DBCA’s Operational Guidelines could be met while contributing to the growth of tourism in Perth, Western Australia.

Swan River Seaplanes have been appointed as the successful applicants in this process. Their operations include conducting charter flights from Perth Water to Rottnest and tours to the Margaret River region using a Cessna 208 Caravan amphibian aircraft. The aircraft will land and take off between the hours of 7:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 5:30pm Sunday and public holidays. The seaplane will drop-off and pick up passengers from a fixed floating pontoon at Queen Street Jetty.

All enquiries can be made via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.