Helicopter Pullout: MP Calls On Aviation Minister For Support

Andrew George, MP

Scilly’s MP, Andrew George, says he has called on Aviation Minister, Theresa Villiers, to support transport links to the Isles of Scilly.

This follows the announcement by British International Helicopters that it will cease its passenger service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly from 1st November this year.

Andrew said, “This is devastating news. It provides an important lifeline service for the economy and community on the Islands as well as being an important part of the local economy on the mainland.”

Andrew admitted that many people had feared and even anticipated that this may happen, adding, “It is a commercial decision and not one which public authorities can influence.”

However he said it’s important that all stakeholders, including local councils, come together to explore every opportunity for putting in place an alternative service.

Andrew said he’ll explore whether there is a chance of underpinning the route with a Statutory Public Service Obligation, similar to those in place in Scotland.

He’ll also see if future plans for new search and rescue helicopter services can be combined with air passenger services to Scilly, although he admits that’s unlikely to happen until 2016.