Tuesday 25 February 2014
Lands End Runway work delayed further.
The Council of the IOS and the IOSSCo have issued a joint press release explaining that work to lay hard runways at Lands End Airport previously planned for March will now be delayed due to the delay in receiving EU approval under state aid rules.
The press release can be found here.
The rationale for the EU's 'state aid' rules is explained here and to quote an introductory paragraph:
"A company which receives government support gains an advantage over its competitors. Therefore, the Treaty generally prohibits State aid unless it is justified by reasons of general economic development. To ensure that this prohibition is respected and exemptions are applied equally across the European Union, the European Commission is in charge of ensuring that State aid complies with EU rules. "
It appears that nobody believes there is a fundamental problem for the current harbour and airport projects (both projects have applications outstanding) but the 'hoops have to be jumped through' and it is a time-consuming process. The fear is that the delay will push the project into the autumn because of the disruption and costs of closing Lands End Airport during the tourist season.
FRIST had assumed the necessary permissions were 'in the bag' but this was obviously not the case.
You can read more in Scilly Today here (including comments from FRIST's Coordinator & spokesperson Marian Bennett).