Heliport Plans Go On Display

The boss of British International Helicopters feels the company’s consultation with residents of St Erth went well.

The travel company has put plans for a new heliport, which would be sited adjacent to a road and rail park–and–ride transport hub, on display for two days this week.

Around 600 people turned out and were asked for their views. Tony Jones from BIH says it was a pretty even split with 46% for the plans and 49% against.

He said most people who are opposed to the development are unhappy on noise grounds. There are seven homes close to the proposed site and Tony says noise reduction panels would be erected and there would be restrictions on flying hours similar to the current base, with no Sunday or late night services.

He said the rest haven’t made their minds up and Tony says that statistic is pleasing because often these exercises can bring a greater percentage of objections.

Plan of proposed site for heliport in St Erth

Some of the smaller display boards showing the site design will be over here next week and paper versions of the mock–up and fact sheets will be available from John Morley’s helicopter booking counter or the helicopter desk at the airport from Monday.

The heliport will have two principal buildings; the hangar and the terminal building and will be a more modern replica of the current heliport in Penzance.

The hangar will be of a size to accommodate two Sikorsky S61N helicopters. The passenger terminal, with a floor area of 2250 sqft, will comprise check-in facilities, baggage handling area, buffet for passenger use and a safety briefing area.

The relocation of the heliport will mean BIH can directly secure 66 jobs.

Tony says letters of support will be requested from islanders and for the Sainsbury’s application to redevelop the current heliport site. His company needs the cash generated by the sale of that land to continue the service to the islands and fund the move to St Erth.

The superstore application will go to planners on 19th September with a decision expected before Christmas.

Tony says he’s pleased that Penzance Town Council voted on Wednesday night not to object to the out of town superstore plan.

You can see the plans on BIH’s website here


2 Responses to Heliport Plans Go On Display

  1. Jan Roddy September 18, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Having visited the exhibition I am disturbed by Mr Jones’s response regarding noise complaints. All those on the flight path objected to the proposals as far from avoiding residential ares, the path flew directly over the villages of Rose-an-Grouse, Whitecross, Cockwells and Tregellas – far from being under a blanket 1000ft, most of these areas lie on higher ground making that figure considerably less. When questioned on this fact Mr Jones’s casual reply mentioned the probable flight path traversing further north over less populated land – so why not place the flight path line on the proposed plans?
    Scilly needs this helicopter link, (being Scillonian with a grandfather who was instrumental in creating an operational airport for the islands), so for me there is no objection to it continuing, but why another mainland greenfield area? It is already, mile for mile, one of the most expensive air routes in the world – placing it even futher from Scilly will make it a travel option only for the rich.
    In the BBC interview with Mr Jones, he used immotive phrases suggesting that BIH would cease to exist if these proposals were to be refused – ‘scare-monger tactics’ – he stated the following day that the sale of the Penzance land was also to furnish BIH with new helicopters for the lucrative North Sea routes.
    There is still a large percentage (49%) against this proposed development, and 600 attending a poorly announced exhibition (with a ‘lock-out’ 30 minutes before the scheduled end!) is not totally representative of the opinions of those living in the affected area. I think Mr Jones is not fully aware of the numbers against his proposals.

  2. iain willson-symonds September 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Apart from the human cost of disruption ,it should also consider the detrimental effect on wildlife as this area is frequented by buzzards ,heron, and is the flight path of canada geese ,the heron,and other migrating birds going to the hayle estuary which is a haven for birds and waterfowl , hopefully the needs of big business will not ,overide the preservation of widlife due to the noise and pollution caused by relocating the heliport so near to such an important wildlife conservation habitat.