Seaplane Operator Increases Manhattan-Boston Service Offerings


Seaplane service between Manhattan and Boston Harbor has seen increased demand, leading Tailwind Air to expand its schedule. Beginning Sept. 12, Tailwind announced today, it will launch three flights in each direction per day on weekdays and institute daily service on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tailwind uses Cessna Grand Caravans on amphibious floats. New York passengers board at the SkyPort terminal located at 23rd Street and FDR Drive in Manhattan. After takeoff from the East River, the flight to Boston Harbor takes approximately 75 minutes, with passengers riding a small boat from the floating seaplane dock to Boston Fan Pier, adjacent to the popular Boston Seaport area of the city.

The new weekday schedule calls for departures from Boston Harbor (BNH) to Manhattan (NYS) New York at 7:45 a.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4:40 p.m., with Manhattan-Boston departures at 8:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

According to Tailwind, the added flights are meant to satisfy an increasing demand, particularly during the fall season, when passengers can experience the New England foliage from a viewpoint not available by automobile, train or jet airliner.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Except for the airspace, that would be a fun job to have.

    I assume it’s a VFR only operation? Are there any instrument approaches to seaplane bases?

    • In both cases there’s an airport nearby with instrument approaches, and it’s fine to file and shoot an approach to the airport, then “land” on the water nearby. I assume that’s what they do.

      I frequently fly out of Norwood, and when the weather is low IFR, they land there and bus the pax to Boston, so they would appear to have higher minimums than those applicable to a straight-in ILS. I would guess they’re restricted to circling mins.

  2. So, shoot the approach to the nearby airport to get under a layer, then cancel IFR and proceed/scud run to the seaport if above VFR minimums? 1,000/3 would be higher than circling minimums.

    • Descending on an IFR arrival/approach to VFR conditions is nothing new and does not constitute scud running, even under part 135 depending on the company’s ops specs.