Air Travel to Pitcairn?

Old Jun 2, 20, 9:43 pm
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Air Travel to Pitcairn?

So I have been intrigued by the remoteness of Pitcairn Island.

It has a population of only 50. There is a real threat of extinction on the island since no one is prepared to settle there, in part due to the lack of links to civilization. As of 2019, the government has been operating the MV Silver Supporter as the island's only dedicated passenger/cargo vessel, providing adventure tourism holidays to Pitcairn every week. But the service is long and expensive NZ$5000 round trip.

Which got me to thinking - why not a Cessna Caravan on floats providing round trip air from Mangareva in French Polynesia?


Mangareva is part of Air Tahiti route network. From there to Pitcairn is 300 miles.

Letís say you have to plan the standard IFR diversions etc but a 600 mile round trip should be well within Caravan range with a decent payload. Of course you could always build a jetty at Pitcairn and refuel but letís assume thatís not there yet.. What Payload and what price ticket would you charge to operate a round trip flight From Mangareva to Pitcairn? If significantly less that NZ$5000 maybe you could encourage more tourism. That leads to economic development, which supports the island and maybe leads to growth or at least security for the Islanders.

Please weigh in.
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Old Jun 2, 20, 9:53 pm
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Originally Posted by steviebas View Post
.....maybe you could encourage more tourism. That leads to economic development, which supports the island and maybe leads to growth or at least security for the Islanders.
I suspect more tourism is not what the (~50) locals want or need. Very controlled restricted visits are another thing
https://www.visitpitcairn.pn/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitcairn_Islands
<snip>
Tourism
Tourism plays a major role on Pitcairn. Tourism is the focus for building the economy. It focuses on small groups coming by charter vessel and staying at "home stays". About ten times a year, passengers from expedition-type cruise ships come ashore for a day, weather permitting. As of 2019, the government has been operating the MV Silver Supporter as the island's only dedicated passenger/cargo vessel, providing adventure tourism holidays to Pitcairn every week. Tourists stay with local families and experience the island's culture while contributing to the local economy. Providing accommodation is a growing source of revenue, and some families have invested in private self-contained units adjacent to their homes for tourists to rent.

Entry requirements for short stays, up to 14 days, which do not require a visa, and for longer stays, that do require prior clearance, are explained in official documents All persons under 16 years of age require prior clearance before landing, irrespective of the length of stay.
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Old Jun 3, 20, 8:44 pm
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It's a cool idea. I think it's the logistics that will hurt you.

Your plan requires basing an airline at Totegegie Airport. Take a look at where that is... it is an island it itself. You'd need pilots and mechanics and spare parts there. Honestly to ensure reliability you'd need a second aircraft. Obviously your main operation would be in Mangareva but that's still a very remote Pacific Island with 1200 people. Not an easy place to run an airline from.
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Old Jun 3, 20, 9:26 pm
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Do the Islanders actually want tourists? I thought they didn't really want outsiders on the island. You can't blame all the young people for wanting to leave, especially the women.

Places like that lose most of their mystique once you can hop on a plane and get dropped on the doorstep. I mean there's not much else going for it except it's remoteness and to hear a few Tahitians speaking ye olde English.
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Old Jun 4, 20, 2:58 am
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Another issue is that Pitcairn does not really have a safe place to operate a sea plane. There is no lagoon, bay, marina, cove, or anywhere that is predictably flat. Seaplanes can land just about anywhere, but taking off is another story. They need smooth flat conditions to take off safely. And you need a place to keep it, even for a short time, and board it. Seaplanes don't handle rough water like boats do.

Even now sometimes the conditions are sometimes too rough for cruise passengers to disembark.
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Old Jun 4, 20, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
Another issue is that Pitcairn does not really have a safe place to operate a sea plane. There is no lagoon, bay, marina, cove, or anywhere that is predictably flat. Seaplanes can land just about anywhere, but taking off is another story. They need smooth flat conditions to take off safely. And you need a place to keep it, even for a short time, and board it. Seaplanes don't handle rough water like boats do.

Even now sometimes the conditions are sometimes too rough for cruise passengers to disembark.
(my bolds)

Yeah, which goes to my point that Pitcairn doesn't have much going on. It's essentially a working farm in the middle of nowher. Out of curiosity, are you saying seaplanes can land in "rough" seas but not take-off?
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Old Jun 4, 20, 8:49 pm
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I just remember being told by a seaplane pilot that landing is pretty easy, taking off is very difficult. You have to build up speed to take off, which is almost impossible in rough water. But you can land in rough water.... there is a limit I'm sure.
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