2 October 2023

Seaplane flights coming to Lake Burley Griffin

| Ian Bushnell
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A Sydney Seaplanes Cessna Caravan comes in to land on Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

A seaplane will return to Lake Burley Griffin tomorrow to promote the Sydney-Canberra service that is expected to commence before the end of the year.

The National Capital Authority said Sydney Seaplanes would conduct flights on Tuesday 3 October and Tuesday 17 October 2023, subject to weather conditions.

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It said the flights were for promotional purposes before operations commenced.

“Sydney Seaplanes will initially offer one or two flights a week between the Lake and Rose Bay before increasing to two flights a day as demand increases,” the NCA said.

That’s a much more conservative offering than suggested back in March when Sydney Seaplanes conducted trial flights for the benefit of lake users who have been concerned about planes disrupting their activities.

Then it was going to be five flights a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, but that will no doubt depend on demand.

The service was also expected to start in the spring but now that will be by the end of the year.

Flights will take off and land in West Lake, with the Central Basin providing backup.

Passengers will board and disembark from a new pontoon near the National Museum of Australia.

Sydney Seaplanes aims to take up to 14 passengers from Rose Bay in Sydney at 9 am and 2:30 pm, and from Canberra at 10:30 am and 4 pm, at a cost of about $300 each way.

South Coast Seaplanes in Moruya is also planning a service.

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Billed as a spectacular commuter flight and bucket list item, the seaplane flights faced choppy waters from lake users and heritage advocates but attracted the backing of government, including Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Andrew Barr, and the national institutions that saw the tourism value of the service.

The NCA, which has stated its goals of expanding the use of the lake, approved the seaplane services last year.

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Really, a new pontoon. No doubt with anti terrorism security barriers equal to the Canberra Airport vacility. I wonder if there is an aviation by law that governs small commercial aircraft. Where by they have a minimum of two engines in case of a “one engine failure”. Chances of survival are much better.

A noisy facility for a few well-off lazy people. Use the airports like everyone else.

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