Tropic Ocean Airways (TI, Fort Lauderdale Int'l) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to operate Part 298 scheduled passenger services as a commuter air carrier.

At present, Tropic Air operates multiple-weekly ad-hoc charter flights within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas using nine-seat Cessna (single turboprop) Grand Caravan 208Bs and one six-seat Cessna (single piston) U 206F.

However, the Fort Lauderdale-based carrier said in it application that it now wants to operate up to ten scheduled round-trip flights per week, in addition to its twenty weekly charter flights, using the same nine-seat Cessna 208B aircraft.

"Commencing as soon as all necessary governmental approvals are received, Tropic Ocean Airways plans to operate four round-trip flights per week between Fort Lauderdale Int'l, Florida, and Lakeland, Florida, with flight operations on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays of each week. During the peak winter/spring months of October and May, Tropic Ocean Airways plans to operate additional round-trip flights between Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Marathon, FL and between Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Key West Int'l, Florida, on Fridays and Saturdays.

"Furthermore, during the peak summer/fall months of May and September, Tropic Ocean Airways plans to operate additional round-trip flights between Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Bullock Harbour, Bahamas, on Fridays and Saturdays for a total of ten round-trip flights per week."

The airline says it has already begun working with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to amend its Part 135 authority and Operations Specifications as required by the body. But, as it is using nine-seater turboprop aircraft, Tropic Ocean Air is hoping the FAA will permit it to to operate the scheduled flights under Part 135, rather than Part 121 regulations.

Established in 2009, Tropic Ocean Airways is owned by Robert Ceravolo (24.48%), George Mattson (24.67%), Jeffrey Moslow (24.67%), and various smaller shareholders.