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Chelan Mayor issues statement regarding departure of Chelan Seaplanes

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Chelan City Hall. (Stock image by GoLakeChelan.com)

Message by Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney

Issued March 20, 2017

With the recent announcement of the departure of the Chelan Airways seaplane, for this upcoming season, I thought it might be helpful to clear the air and give some perspective.

When something like this happens, there is a tendency for us to find blame. On this issue, I am sure that we can affix blame on several people starting with me. But in doing so, we do not solve the problem. I want everyone that has a passion for the seaplane to know it was disheartening for all of us at City Hall as it was for the public. I wanted the service to continue without interruption as did the Council, staff, along with the public.

A few things that we did at the City were to have several meetings with the owner/operator beginning last September. Our Planning Dept. followed our request to” turn over every possible rock” and push for a solution right up to what is considered legal usage. We held a public meeting to find solutions, not pass the blame. I personally called several commercial waterfront owners to get a short-term fix, to no avail.

I also want to make it clear that we had and hopefully will continue to have a good working relationship with Shane Carlson, the seaplane operator. He is a good man with a good business, and the last thing I want is to have any business leave town, especially one that has such deep roots. I pledged that we will continue to work on a short-term and long-term solution for a seaplane option.

There is no one thing or person that created this departure. When something like this happens, I notice that we tend to look for fault. I tend to look for solutions. I ask that our community work towards “finding the good” and to come up with solutions.

Lastly, I want to share something that is at the core of my public service, I want to retain the historic feel of our great town, I am passionate about preserving our heritage and work every day to make it a better place…not a bigger place.

If you ever have any questions on what is going on within the City or have issues with real or perceived differences, please feel free to call me at City Hall @ 509/682-8018 (leave a message if not in) or email me at mcooney@cityofchelan.us.


Mike Cooney

Mayor, City of Chelan




1 Comment on Chelan Mayor issues statement regarding departure of Chelan Seaplanes

  1. The answer may be to improve, (pave , snowplow,and light) the existing Stehekin Airfield. This would give good year around service to Stehekin at a more reasonable cost than the float plane option. We will all miss the floatplane landings in Chelan but the important thing is to have air service. The problems with the joint ownership and operating of Stehekin between forest service and State of Washington, should be able to be ironed out citing the loss of Seaplane service, and a more congenial federal government under the new administration.

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