Seaplane business in RP growing — CAAP – Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Seaplane business is growing in the country due to increasing number of local and foreign tourists who are willing to spend more just to reach the country’s posh islands.
There are more tourists now who can pay least P30,000 seaplane fare to avoid annoying commercial flights, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
CAAP said operations are good for the latest seaplane business that started less than six months ago.
Rodante Joya, deputy director general of CAAP, said although he doesn’t have access to revenues of the three firms engaged in seaplane business, profit is evident because chartered flights to local posh resorts are fast becoming frequent.
So far, the third seaplane business, Air Juan, has four flights going to Coron, Busuanga, El Nido, Pamalican, all in Palawan and the soon-to-be launched Alabat in Quezon province.
“Seaplanes are in use globally for a long time already,” Joya told the Daily Tribune. Seaplanes are powered fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing (alighting) on water.
This type of aircraft that can also take off and land on airfields is in a subclass called amphibian aircraft. Such planes are common in expensive resorts in the Philippines like Amanpulo in Pamalican, Palawan; Balesin in Polilio, Quezon; Misibis in Albay; and the latest becoming popular to moneyed tourists, Lagen island in El Nido, Palawan.
Except for Balesin, whose owner has own air taxi business and airstrip, travellers to the resorts can avail of the services of any air taxi companies. Earlier, CAAP said there are already three such firms with such service.
In a research by the Tribune, the number of air taxi and seaplane business in the country pales in comparison with Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia, all archipelagic like the Philippines.
Joya, a retired pilot, said just like a commercial airline, those who want to be engaged in air taxi and seaplane business must secure an air operator certificate (AOC) from CAAP. The official said he does not know much an AOC costs.
“(I) have to ask FSIS (flight standard inspectorate service),” the official said. 

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