Council Agrees ‘Camping Under The Wing’ Events At Airport

St Mary's Airport

The Council has agreed to allow a camping trial at the airfield for people who have flown over in their own plane, but only on Saturdays and Sundays.

They’ll be allowed to pitch a tent under the wing although they’ll have to leave on the Monday morning.

They’ll also be allowed to have a barbecue and use wash facilities on the eastern side of the airport field, away from the main building, as part of these special events.

Councillors heard that a number of small regional airfields operate similar services and the airport management felt it would be a good way of publicising the islands and encouraging a new tourism sector.

In discussions, Julia Day asked that there are assurances that events are limited to the weekends, as she wouldn’t want to see ‘camping under the wing’ on airport working days.

Chief Fire Officer, Steve Webster says that, as long as the aircraft are parked on the periphery of the airport, away from the main working areas, then it shouldn’t present any problems.

Marian Bennet was supportive of the idea, saying it adds to the variety of visitors experience to Scilly and adding it’s a good way to promote the islands to a new group of potential visitors.

However, Richard McCarthy urged caution with the scheme, which, he said, should be evaluated early on to ensure the economic benefits are being realised.

Fees and charges will be reduced for parties and smaller aircraft to make the visits more attractive.

Two Air Control staff will monitor the first camping weekend and barbecue at the end of July and there will be more if all goes well.