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Tailwind Air: Federal safety considerations delay seaplane flights to School Park


Tailwind Air has delayed a plan to fly seaplanes from Manhattan to School Park Airport in Maryland whereas the Transportation Safety Administration and Federal Aviation Administration weigh safety considerations in regards to the proposed operation.

Flights had been scheduled to start Tuesday. As questions lingered over utilizing the airport, the airline introduced it deliberate to function preliminary service to the Washington space utilizing a personal terminal at Dulles Worldwide Airport. That possibility additionally seemed to be in query due to the weird nature of Tailwind’s operation.

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On Monday, Tailwind stated it was delaying its launch within the area altogether by not less than two weeks whereas it tries to seal a cope with an airport.

Tailwind executives stated final month they’d a solution to entry the restricted airspace across the capital utilizing exemptions created for School Park and two different small Maryland airports. The airline had gone so far as to conduct a take a look at flight.

Tailwind depends on a bit of aviation laws that permits for commuter flights to offer scheduled service utilizing small planes with out following all necessities imposed on main airways. The printed procedures for the School Park Airport don’t point out restrictions on sorts of flights, however commuter operations are comparatively uncommon and federal authorities have extra questions in regards to the concept.

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“There are publish 9/11 safety considerations associated to industrial contract carriers working inside Nationwide Capital Area restricted airspace,” TSA spokesman Carter Langston stated in an e-mail. “To that finish, TSA and FAA are working collaboratively with Tailwind Air to handle and discover safety choices. Since this can be a matter of transportation safety and is taken into account to be delicate safety data, we won’t remark additional on these considerations.”

The FAA referred inquiries to the TSA.

Seaplanes are coming to Washington. However they’ll land on … land.

Tailwind has been promoting service to Dulles as an alternative choice to School Park. Tailwind posted an announcement in regards to the swap on its web site early final week, solely to take it down days later.

“There are a variety of stakeholders, clearly, on this space,” stated Alan Ram, Tailwind’s chief government. “I’d say a optimistic end result is certainly not assured however I do assume the dialog was surprisingly constructive.”

As a result of Tailwind doesn’t use TSA safety screening for passengers, it will possibly’t entry the primary terminals and must function to a personal terminal on the airport. However David Mould, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Dulles, stated Monday that the concept was nonetheless below assessment.

“It seems that’s going to delay them a bit,” Mould stated. “It’s taking longer than anybody had hoped.”

School Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn disclosed the federal assessment at a gathering of the Metropolis Council final week, saying Tailwind’s launch could be delayed 45 days. The council was assembly with the top of the native airport authority to debate a change that will be required to the airport’s guidelines, which bar scheduled industrial service.

Some members of the council questioned whether or not the service could be noisy, however native officers appeared able to help the change on a trial foundation.

The airport, which was based in 1909 and claims to be the world’s oldest nonetheless in operation, is run by the Maryland-Nationwide Capital Park and Planning Fee. Angel Waldron, a spokeswoman for the fee, stated officers are assured the partnership with Tailwind will finally transfer ahead.

“We’re prepared and excited in regards to the alternative,” Waldron stated.

Tailwind is planning to make use of a fleet of eight passenger seaplanes to make journeys between a marina on the east facet of Manhattan to the Washington space. The airline expenses $395 for a one-way ticket, advertising and marketing itself to time-conscious enterprise vacationers as a quicker different to jets or Amtrak.


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