Helicopters To Remain In Penzance Until Next April

Tony Jones

The Boss of British International Helicopters says it’s likely that they’ll stay in Penzance over the winter, until moving to St Erth in April.

Tony Jones says he had a positive meeting last Thursday with Cornwall Council and Sainsburys about planning permission for a new supermarket at the existing heliport site in Penzance and a second meeting on Friday, about creating a new heliport near St Erth railway station went well.

Tony says the Chief Executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, Philip Hygate, spoke at the Friday session, attended by Cornwall Councillors and Staff, and he did his bit in encouraging support for the scheme on the mainland.

Philip told the attendees how the service carries 90,000 travellers each year and is vital to the economy of the islands, especially during the winter months.

Tony says they now have the confidence to press forward with developing their plans for the site adding that Sainsburys will be presenting their application for scrutiny by Cornwall in October, and BIH will present theirs the following month in November.

From Radio Scilly
Hear Tony Jones discussing plans for St Erth

He says he’ll be “astonished” if they don’t get any objections to the plans but says they’ve done their homework, particularly around the environmental impact, which is likely to generate the most complaints.

They’ve performed their own environmental survey and the Council have said they don’t require their own full assessment as the flight plans avoid built up areas and sites of special scientific interest. Also, the noise of the helicopters should be contained within the area of the heliport.

Tony didn’t want to ‘second guess’ the planning process, but feels confident that achieving planning consent will be straightforward and, because their application is a so-called ‘detailed’ plan, they could start building work straight away at St Erth.

However, this will mean that they’ll stay in Penzance until spring, allowing the necessary building work to take place, before moving to St Erth in April for the new travel season.

The proposed St Erth facility will include a hanger, terminal, parking and fire fighting facilities and Tony says helicopters will also be maintained and serviced at St Erth, only going to Newquay for major, 10-year overhauls.

He says there will be a bus linking the railway station to the new St Erth terminal, even though it is a shorter distance to walk than from our Town Hall to the Quay and that bus could be used for medical transfers to the West Cornwall Hospital.

And he says that travellers will welcome the new, modern facilities and the slightly reduced road and rail distance.

The journey to St Mary’s will be 3 minutes longer than at present, which will increases fuel costs, but he hopes this can be absorbed within current ticket prices.


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