Trust approves Swan seaplanes

Trust statutory planning manager Jennifer Stritzke said the trial, in which planes would depart from near the Narrows and fly to Rottnest Island, Margaret River and Mandurah, could be extended to 18 months if there was no impact on adjacent residents or the river.

Catalina Airlines, owned by former SAS soldier Mack McCormack, will be allowed to operate an 11-passenger Cessna 208 Caravan seaplane near the Mill Point Road turn-off to the Kwinana Freeway, South Perth twice a day, all week.

Mr McCormack said he wanted to start joy flights to the island this summer, but needed Civil Aviation Authority and Department of Transport approval and he could not say when there would be a final decision.

Other planned seaplane routes include weekend flights through Mandurah to Dunsborough so scuba divers could access the sunken HMAS Perth.

‘And subject to approval from Mandurah council, we’d also like to link Mandurah with Rottnest Island,’ Mr McCormack said.

The trial was approved after Mr McCormack changed his application from landings near South Perth foreshore and replaced his older Grumman Albatross seaplane with the Cessna. Restrictions on the trial flights include operating only from 8.30am to 5pm and protection of river wildlife, including migratory wading birds at Milyu Marine Park, opposite Royal Perth Golf Course.

Public comment throughout the trial, whether it is 12 or 18 months, will help decide on future use of the river for commercial seaplane flights.