Australia's National Capital Authority (NCA) continues to develop its plans for Sydney Seaplanes (Sydney Rose Bay) to begin daily amphibious commuter flights between Australia's biggest city and the country's national capital. The proposal, which dates back to 2019, was derailed by the pandemic but flights are approved and a recent NCA media roundtable suggests the concept still has life left in it.

The NCA is eyeing twice daily roundtrips between Sydney Seaplanes' Rose Bay terminal on Sydney Harbour and a yet-to-be-developed jetty/pontoon extension at Acton Peninsula on Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin. The anticipated flying time is one hour. The NCA is a federal government agency that helps plan, promote, maintain, and enhance the character of Australia's quirky national capital.

The NCA told the November 15 roundtable that it supports the proposed flights subject to the planes using the lake safely, having the appropriate permits from Australia's Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA), and the development of appropriate infrastructure on Lake Burley Griffin. Westerly takeoff and easterly landing, including daylight approach paths to/from 1,000 metres above ground level have already been mapped out. According to Canberra-based media reports, flights could be up and running within six months.

No such delays exist in Sydney, where seaplane operations in and out of Rose Bay are long established. Sydney Seaplanes has a fleet of five aircraft, including primarily Cessna (single turboprop) Caravan Amphibians but also de Havilland DHC-2 Beavers, which primarily operate sightseeing flights and charters to toney waterside restaurants up and down the coast. Sydney Seaplanes managing director Aaron Shaw told ch-aviation that they'd initially put the Cessna Caravans on the route but upgrade to Twin Otters if the demand was there.

Any seaplane service between Sydney and Canberra, which 2020 media reports said would be priced at about AUD300 (USD198) one-way, would take on multiple road, road, and air operators competing for business on the short 300-kilometre sector. In addition to bus and rail services, a high-grade motorway connects the two cities and Qantas, Virgin Australia, and Rex - Regional Express all offer multiple daily services on the route.