Sunday 20 July 2014
Re-opening of Lands End Airport delayed until 29 July
Currently flights to the IOS from Cornwall are all channelled through Newquay Airport whilst Laggan Construction replaces grass runways at Lands End Airport with hard tarmac surfaces. Due to technical problems the work is going to take longer than expected meaning flights will continue to fly from Newquay until 29 July rather than 21 July.
The IOS Steamship Company have put out the the following press release explaining the situation: .............
Land’s End Airport re-opening delayed
We regret to inform passengers that Land’s End Airport will remain closed while work continues on hardening two of the airport’s four grass runways.
The airport was scheduled to reopen on Monday (21st July) having closed to allow for the work to take place. Provided the work can be completed in time, the plan now is to reopen on Tuesday 29th July.
In the meantime all Skybus services scheduled to operate to/from Land’s End Airport will be routed through Newquay Cornwall Airport.
The project had been going to schedule but on Thursday (17th July) the construction team found that in some places the base layer for the new runways has not performed as required and appears not to have hardened sufficiently. This will cause a delay while these areas are investigated and fixed. These issues have come to light before the final surface layer of runway tarmac was due to be applied.
Steve Turner from Lagan Construction, which is carrying out the work, said: “The construction team are disappointed that due to unforeseen circumstances additional time will be required for completion. The construction team has not encountered this problem before whilst applying the specified technique of stabilising soil on site by mixing it with cement to create a base layer on which bituminous products can be placed. We are working closely with the airport’s design advisors to determine the cause of the problem and as such soil samples have been sent for analysis in addition to other tests that will assist in finding a solution as quickly as possible.”
Rob Goldsmith, chief executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, which owns Land’s End Airport, said: “We are extremely disappointed about the delay and would like to apologise for the inconvenience this will cause Skybus passengers.
“Although it is disappointing to have to make this decision at such a late stage we had no option but to extend the closure period. We will be operating a full Skybus schedule via Newquay instead and are doing everything in our power to minimise disruption for passengers, all of whom are being contacted.”
The Land’s End runway works are part of a project that also includes upgrades to the Isles of Scilly Airport on St Mary’s. The project is designed to strengthen lifeline air links to the islands, especially during poor winter weather.
Passengers due to fly during the closure period are advised to visit www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk
19th July 2014
The £9 million upgrade at both Land’s End and St Mary’s airports is being part-funded with £6.77 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence investment. The final contracts for that funding were recently exchanged between the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the Department for Communities and Local Government. A further £1 million is coming from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company is investing £1.3 million in the £2.6 million project at Land’s End.
The bulk of the investment, £6.6 million, will be used to resurface the runways at St Mary’s airport, harden grass runways, upgrade the terminal and improve runway lighting and navigational aids.