BIH Move To Newquay May Not Be Permanent

British International Helicopter’s plan to relocate its service permanently to Newquay airport may not be a done deal, says a Councillor in Scilly.

The company announced earlier this month that it would be moving to Newquay at the end of October after reaching an agreement with Sainsbury’s, who have bought the Long Rock site, to continue flights through the summer season.

However, Councillor Marian Bennett says that while it is likely flights will move to Newquay at the end of the season, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Councils are providing “every support possible to enable them to continue operations from a Penzance location and that work continues in that endeavour.”

We asked BIH to comment on suggestions that their plan is to pursue a Penzance base and their announcement of a move to Newquay was a smokescreen to deter objectors, but they declined to comment.

Council Chairman, Mike Hicks, told us the plan to use Newquay airport as a permanent base is “very worrying to say the very least.”

He added he is trying to set up a meeting with senior management to see if the two Councils can help in any way and “for them to hear first hand the Islander’s viewpoint on their intended move.”

There have been concerns expressed over the difficulty of reaching Newquay airport, which is a 20-minute drive from the nearest railway station, as well as loss of visitor income to the Penzance area.

There are also worries over the sustainability of the service at current ticket prices due to the increased flight distance and fuel involved.

 



One Response to BIH Move To Newquay May Not Be Permanent

  1. al February 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    May be I’ve missed it but I’m surprised by the low key concern regarding the nomadic Helicopters. Aviation fuel alone must be around an extra £200 for a return flight to Newquay, add pilot’s hours, airport charges and extra maintenance/ ‘MOT’ and the additional costs must rocket. Together with the lost revenue from the withdrawal of any realistic train interchange will either lead to significantly higher ticket prices(and they hurt at the moment) or, more probably, the demise of the service altogether. Either way, a serious blow for the Islands, sacrifised for short-termism and greed with the sale of Penzance Heliport, doubtless to line the pocket of a ‘lazy banker’. Don’t tell me, their third home is on Tresco and they own a private helicopter! Won’t it possibly to land on top of Sainsburys or use the car park – very handy for shopping trips.