St Mary’s Airport Gets New Management Group

Runway will need repairs soon

Councillors have agreed the formation of a new Airport Management Group at Tuesday’s Full Council Meeting.

The new group has been set up in response to recommendations contained in the airport development report, produced by Parsons Brinkerhoff.

This new body will get delegated powers from the Transport sub committee, allowing it to make faster decisions as ambitious plans to refurbish St Mary’s airport get underway.

They’ll also monitor the day-to-day running of the airport including finances and set the future strategy, including attracting new operators to the airport and looking for ways to generate extra income, such as car parking charges.

The chairs and vice chairs of the Policy and Resources and Transport committees will sit on the new body together with the chairs of General Purposes and Planning.

They’ll be joined by various Council officers whose roles impact on the airport.

Cllr Robert Dorrien-Smith felt it was strange that the transport operator, Skybus, wasn’t represented on the new group.

But Transport chair, Dudley Mumford, felt that could be a conflict of interest and they would be brought in when necessary.

The degree to which powers have been delegated to the new sub committee worried some members.

Cllr Marian Bennett said the number of tasks and responsibilities that the new body had was confusing and seemed too broad for a sub committee.

She asked what was the use of the Transport Committee if all of these roles were being taken on by the Airport Management Group.

But Dudley explained that the group would have the power to take executive decisions quickly and there would be scrutiny through both the Transport Committee and Policy and Resources.

The Council are currently seeking over £4m in grant funding to resurface the runway and make significant changes to the passenger terminal and airport services buildings.


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