Sunday 20 August 2017

Sunday Times 20 Aug 17: “Helicopter shuttle service plan has Scilly Isles in a whirl”

The Sunday Times has run a short item on the IOSSG’s efforts to thwart Robert Dorrian-Smith’s plans to reinstate the helicopter service between the Islands and Penzance.  
The article states that the helicopter proposals were “welcomed by islanders who complain about the “second-rate” ferry service that does not operate during the winter and aeroplane flights that are often cancelled because of bad weather, leaving the islands cut off for days."

The article reminds readers that “Helicopter flights operated to the islands for almost 50 years until 2012, when British International Helicopters withdrew its service, blaming uncertainty created by a dispute over the future of its heliport site in Penzance.”

Samantha Mallon, initiator of the petition for reinstatement of the helicopter service is quoted as saying “The steamship company are holding the islands to ransom,” and Lord Berkeley, a regular visitor to the islands, is quoted from his recent Lords debate where he branded the Company a “lazy monopoly provider”.

IOSSG is quoted as saying that there are too few passengers to “sustain two completely separate air operations”. It also is reported as saying that (building a new heliport) “lumbers an already fragile transport system with unnecessary costs and risks”.

Read full article here (you may need to register temporarily for access)

Helicopter petition here  

Comment.  The IOSSG is currently seeking Judicial Review of Cornwall Council's handling of the Penzance Heliport planning application. This action has effectively stalled the project.  The date for the legal hearing is not known.

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