TSA concerns force Tailwind Air to halt launch of Manhattan-College Park, Md., service: Travel Weekly

Seaplane operator Tailwind Air was unable to launch planned service between Manhattan and Maryland’s College Park Airport on Tuesday.

Instead, the carrier is working to start service to Washington Dulles’ private terminal from the Skyport Marina on Lower Manhattan’s East River on Sept. 27.

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Had it launched, the Manhattan-College Park flight would have been the only regularly scheduled service within the flight restricted zone that covers the D.C. Beltway, with the exception of flights to Reagan National Airport. Tailwind announced plans to fly the service in mid-August. 

The plan was disrupted, however, when TSA expressed concerns about the route around the first of September, Tailwind co-founder Peter Manice said. 

“I don’t want to get into too many details. It has been a very constructive relationship so far and we are kind of acceding to their requests,” Manice explained. 

TSA also declined to specify its concerns. 

“TSA and FAA are working collaboratively with Tailwind Air to explore and address security options,” the agency said in a statement. “Because this is a matter of transportation security and is considered to be sensitive security information, we will not comment further on those concerns.”

Manice said that Tailwind still hopes to fly to College Park, though the launch will be delayed until at least early November and possibly until the carrier resumes flying in March following its usual winter operational respite. In the meantime, he expects Tailwind to fly New York-Dulles 10 times weekly, just as the carrier had planned for New York-College Park. Talks with Dulles are still being finalized. 

Tailwind operates scheduled charter flights with eight-seat Cessna Caravan Amphibian planes and currently flies nonstop from Manhattan to seven destinations in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

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