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Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:59 pm

Chelan Seaplanes closes its doors after lease termination

Read the story here:

After receiving a lease termination notice from Sunset Marina LLC, Chelan Seaplanes is ending its service on Lake Chelan indefinitely after 30 plus years on the property.

The seaplane service received a notice of the termination in September, said Scott McKellar of Sunset Marina, adding that it was “unfortunate news.”

The new marina is set to break ground this winter, and with condominiums planned for the property the seaplane service lost its space.

Chelan Seaplanes has been in operation since 2009 on Lake Chelan after taking over service from Chelan Airways, which brought chartered passengers on Lake Chelan starting in 1945.

Chelan Seaplanes started a petition to submit to the city of Chelan and the Port of Chelan County to help the service find a permanent home for future operations on Lake Chelan.

The petition aims to have 1,000 signatures, with 590 so far since it opened on Dec. 1. The petition can be found at here:


Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:36 pm



Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:32 am

Signed and shared via Facebook

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:38 pm

Local radio station (KOZI) covers the Chelan Seaplanes dilemma :
Listen to podcast here:

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:07 pm

Klaus, that petition is beyond 1200 signatures with a new target set for 2000!
Great feedback and lots of interest from the seaplane community.


This could work after all.....


Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:57 pm

Like everything we find ourselves advocating, this goes deeper then the articles expose.

The Port Authorities and city politicians won't make a decision. Lake Chelan has needed an official seaplane base for 70 years. All the previous seaplane company owners have been gracious to fellow seaplane pilots and allowed them to tie-up and buy fuel. The local government officials need to designated an area for a permanent seaplane dock and operations area. This lake is very useful to the seaplane pilots traveling over the +5000 feet passes of the Cascade Mountain Range.

Over the years the firefighting aircraft have saved the homes around the community and a seaplane base in the right place could offer the community even better medical, fire and disaster relief.

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:07 am

Fortunately the seaplane industry is perfectly positioned in terms of advocacy. Excuse the cynisism...

The petition however is getting LOTS of signatures, which in itself is pretty unusual in this "quickly push like and forget it" Facebook world of ours.

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:25 am

Goodbye Chelan Seaplane

By: Zach Johnson, Staff writer

CHELAN - For the first time in 60 years, Chelan Seaplanes will not be operating in Lake Chelan.

The formal decision came from owner Shane Carlson late in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 14, in a press release.

“Regretfully, Chelan Seaplanes is formally announcing that we will not be operating seaplane service on Lake Chelan for the 2017 season. All of the support and kind words of encouragement were not enough to bring things together to operate service in 2017,” Carlson wrote in the release. “We have tried our best and exhausted all options, including options that didn’t require permitting such as temporary facility, including a floating concept. The City’s Shoreline Master Plan does not allow for any temporary type of business concept which we were proposing to get us into operation for 2017. As well, many other permitting hurdles with other State and Federal Agencies would have to be completed in a very short period of time. The lawsuit filed by the Chelan Basin Conservancy (CBC) against the Fingers was another important part of our decision.”

However, Carlson did leave returning to Lake Chelan on the table. Of course, that would only happen if the situation was right.

“I assured Mator Cooney and Hollingsworth that I am committed to being here, I just can’t afford to buy a piece of property and take a gamble on a two year lease,” Carlson said in reference to a two year lease the Goodfellow brothers offered him. “I would entertain that, I mean they were offering it at a reasonable enough rate, but I could just barely afford it and it still wouldn’t solve the long term problem.”

Aside from the Two Fingers location, there are limited locations Carlson believes he can successfully operate from.

“Nothing out there is suitable, that is where the city and the Port need to provide infrastructure for the air service to be there,” Carlson stated. “The city didn’t do anything accept kind words on and a pat on the back, nothing was done to help facilitate it.”

In a response to the initial press release, Mayor Mike Cooney said, “I applaud Shane for working and turning over rocks, we met with him several times, we put on a public meeting and I personally reached out to property owners to see if it could fit, but the bottom line is that we understand the importance of the seaplane, that has to be clearly stated, it is an icon. It is just frustrating it is not happening. Our Planning Director, (Craig Gildroy) worked hard and we spent a fair amount of time as a city on the issue. It is frustrating it couldn’t get done, but it is not from a lack of effort. The door is still open though if something can get done.”

In the meantime, Carlson says he plans to fly the Seaplane over to their other business location in Friday Harbor.

“The plane will be re-purposed and busy doing something else,” Carlson affirmed. “I would certainly like and prefer to have it over in Chelan and I want to be there.”

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:06 am

Not sure how I missed this, but I just signed it.

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:37 am

Oh... I didn't follow this either but I must wonder which reasons may have prevented the large numbers of actively flying seaplane pilots from signing this.

Any guesses? Is this beneath people?

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:20 am

Since being involved with the on going battle at East Hampton Airport, the one discouraging, but I guess understandable thing is, that at least in East Hampton, the local government, basically disregards all the signatures of people that either do not live or rent in the area (ones manly wanting the airport closed or heavily restricted) and the signatures of all the pilots (and some of the more affluent residents) that do not use the facility. I have seen this in meetings. Someone saying, I fly into East Hampton, rent a car, support local restaurants, pay fuel and time down costs are listed to and not the ones from far away that are just trying to help other keep the local airport. On the other side of it, the Anti-Airport Activists that write in from places like California are also ignored. I can see the point of listening to those that really have "skin in the game".

That being said, it still doesn't do any harm to write in or sign petitions and might just help.


Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:32 pm

jjbaker wrote:Oh... I didn't follow this either but I must wonder which reasons may have prevented the large numbers of actively flying seaplane pilots from signing this.

Any guesses? Is this beneath people?

I'm not sure what you mean "large number of seaplane pilots"...?

I spend a lot of time in landlocked capital of Alaska were we use to have shortage of dock space on the floatpond adjacent to the runway. (look on google satellite maps 'Juneau, Alaska airport'). As of 2017 there will be less than a dozen private floatplanes on the pond and most owners are over 70 years old. A couple of them don't get Medicals or Annuals because they say it doesn't matter anymore......

Re: Chelan Seaplanes Lease Termination

Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:06 am

KlausNW wrote:I'm not sure what you mean "large number of seaplane pilots"...?

Those might be alternative realities you see up there on your uphill pond but, we're winning a lot!

We're a powerful, dangerously afluent group of the pilot populace and an extremely hard to content with special interest group of solid political and financial magnitude.

If and when our troops are mobilized, things change in a hurry and local zealots are easily defeated.

Lets do this and mobilize those and lets ask the Seaplane Pilots Association to step in with expert statements. Representing some 60.000 seaplane pilots isn't peanuts!

Lets WIN this!

Shazaaam & Shamwow!!!1

Edit to add: Of course this was ill intended parody. Kindly disregard.
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