Former Minister Praises Scilly’s Airport

MP John Redwood

A former Conservative minister has been singing Scilly’s praises on his personal website.

MP for Wokingham John Redwood, who served as Welsh Secretary for John Major, regularly holidays in Scilly.

He’s contrasted travel to Scilly through Southampton, where heightened security means passengers must remove belts and dispose of hand-carried liquids, which the return leg from St Mary’s, where personal items can be carried and no clothing needs to be removed.

Mr Redwood praised St Mary’s airport staff as, “people who want you to enjoy a good holiday and who send you back home with happy memories, rather than with a security lecture ringing in your ears.”

He says, “They make common-sense judgements of risk as there has been no terrorist attack on a flight from the Scilly.”

Current rules mean flights under 10 tonnes maximum take-off weight don’t need to be screened, and with 19-seats, the Twin Otters fall under the screening capacity.

If an airport takes larger aircraft, they may choose to security scan all passengers going into the departure lounge.

Mr Redwood added, “If they need more money to improve St Mary’s airport, doubtless the security people will crawl all over them, making the project dearer and the experience less enjoyable for holiday makers.”

But Diana Mompoloki, who is driving the airport improvement project for the Council, says that won’t be the case. The improvements to the terminal will factor in heightened security if regulations change and they have to bring it in, but there are no plans to make more stringent checks at this stage.

The MP was less positive about the increased use of signage on the off-island quays and wrote that he felt the, “ugly metal fences to segregate motor vehicles from pedestrians” were unnecessary. That he put down to, “evidence of the bossy mainland society imposing its will on the islands.”