Passenger Compensation Rules Could Affect Helicopters

The helicopter service to our islands could face a further challenge if changes to air passenger compensation rules go ahead.

Councillors at yesterday’s Transport Strategy Meeting were told the amendments could make British International Helicopters liable for compensation if passengers are delayed.

The helicopters are currently exempt from the EU rules, which were introduced in 2005 to protect passengers when airlines delay or cancel flights.

Councillor Marian Bennett said changes to the ‘denied boarding’ rule could threaten the viability of the route and she said that was important with the number of delays on the service.

Marian said the legislation is currently out to consultation and asked if there was any way the authority could make representations on behalf of BIH.

However, Diana Mompoloki from the Council’s Economic Development department said they would need to be very careful how they addressed this as a Council.

She said the Authority could be seen to favour one carrier over another, namely Skybus, who fall within the current legislation.

Chairman, Dudley Mumford said any decision would need to be brought back to the committee.

He added, “anything that impacts on the cost of the helicopter service is of great importance to the local community.”