Tropic Ocean Airways Orders Seaplanes and Explores Training School Options

Airline plans to grow internally with additional services and employees.

Tropic Ocean Airways announced the addition of four Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft equipped with Wipline 8750A seaplane floats.Tropic Ocean Airways

Four new Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft equipped with Wipline 8750A seaplane floats are expected to join the fleet in 2018 at Tropic Ocean Airways in Fort Lauderdale. Already the world’s largest operator of the Grand Caravan EX seaplane, this order will increase the size of the airline’s fleet to 15 aircraft. The order for the first four aircraft, outfitted to carry eight passengers each, also included an unspecified number of options for future Caravans. Tropic Ocean Airways provides scheduled and charter air service throughout Florida, The Bahamas and seasonal air service in the northeast United States. The growing airline carried more than 15,000 passengers in 2016.

Rob Ceravolo, Tropic Ocean Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said the airline is also exploring the creation of the world’s first dedicated Grand Caravan seaplane training facility at its southeast Florida headquarters. Ceravolo said, “The looming pilot shortage and specifically the shortage of seaplane pilots means the need for a standardized training operation is paramount. We’ve used the military flight training programs as a guide to how we’ll develop our school and offer seaplane training to airlines around the globe.” The company has also taken initial steps to authorize the airline to perform maintenance on its own fleet of Caravans at the company’s Fort Lauderdale repair station.

Textron Aviation's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rob Scholl said, "Tropic Ocean Airways is an outstanding operator and excellent ambassador for the Cessna Grand Caravan EX, an aircraft they have relied on… since 2012." Tropic Ocean Airways, subject of Flying's "Pilots of the Caribbean," is also Wipair's largest U.S.-based operator.