Land’s End Airport Closure Continues

lands end airportThe closure of Land’s End airport will stretch into a fifth week following an announcement yesterday by Skybus.

They say there won’t be any flights operating from the grass runaway until at least January 21st. The airfield remains waterlogged and more heavy rain is expected.

At the start of the month, Steamship Company management said that rumours that the company had decided to close the airfield until February were completely untrue.

A spokesman said they were inspecting the runway regularly.

Skybus will continue to operate flights to Scilly via Newquay Airport up to and including Monday 21st January when the situation will be reviewed.

The company says they need a longer period of reasonable weather to allow the airfield to dry out. They have also taken delivery of plastic matting to reinforce the grass surface of the runway and will continue to install this over the next few days, in addition to work already completed on the taxiways.

The Steamship Company say they are working with the Council of the Isles of Scilly, which has secured Government funding to help work up plans for a hardened runway at Land’s End.

The Council say they are committed to securing grant funding to help the Steamship Company pay for an upgrade to the runway.


20 Responses to Land’s End Airport Closure Continues

  1. Steven January 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    It would be interesting to know just how many (few I suspect!) people would be willing to transfer to a ship in weather like this.

  2. Dick Cliffe January 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    FRIST has the support of the Penzance business community who like islanders are concerned about the future and know that transport to the islands is a critically important issue. If you take Penwith and Scilly as a unit then 12% of the tourist spend is on Scilly which has under 3% of the population of the area. I don’t have exact figures but a further 2-3% of tourist spend is likely to come from visitors to Scilly staying in Penwith on the way in and out. The Scilly ‘tourism engine’ needs to keep working or the damage will be widespread.

    There are four issues (there may be more) to consider when looking at island transport links:

    – Whether a repeat of the current winter transport crisis can be avoided next winter if the only passenger option is fixed wing flights in/out of St Mary’s.

    – How well the void created by the loss of the helicopter is filled by the expanded fixed wing services and the refurbished Scillonian.

    – Whether the fixed wing/ferry travel combination is sustainable in the long term (2018 and beyond).

    – Whether the IOS tourism industry can remain competitive with the future transport combination provided on a strictly commercial basis (relatively restricted services and high ticket prices).

    The indications on the last item (can Scilly remain competitive) are that Scilly cannot remain competitive in the long term with transport links to the mainland provided on a strictly commercial basis. The helicopter (originally public funded) has gone and the Scillonian (60% public funded in 1977) is nearing the end of its economic life after 35+ years. The evidence indicates this is the case. The next two years will prove the matter.

    See for more of this discussion and the evidence suggesting that Scilly is being squeezed.

  3. Kev Wright January 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Firstly can I point out that ‘Kev’ is not me and all my posts are under Kev Wright (none with an alias). Secondly it’s very flattering that a few people have mentioned my name with regards to running for council. I’m not sure I have the experience to do so (although in some cases it seems this is fairly low down on the list of requirements anyway!) and secondly because of family reasons I may not have the time to dedicate to the role – this coming election at least. I would also like to say that I agree with Adam Morton, Mark Prebble and Steve Sims as potential candidates (along with some of the current and former councilors mentioned who have done a good job, I think we all know which ones they are) – and maybe Clifford Freeman, but I can’t say I know him personally although he does seem, from what I read, to be very knowledgeable and concerned with the community, so may also be a good choice. We need a change, that’s for certain.

  4. ISLANDER January 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Get a life Katie f. the reason why capitals is 2 of us are putting post on under islander!!. and i think most candidants who will put up for council is concerned about transport amoungst other issues. can someone tell me has HEART/FRIST had any meetings.. think it would be a good idea as they are both about community issues. as for candidants for council. i would suggest
    richard chiverton, kev wright, adam mortan,amanda martin, richard mccarthy, jon may, steve sims ,david pearson, mike hicks, dudley mumford,, mark prebble, cliford freemen. to name a few and some past and previous councilors. good on you. they have stood up for what they believe in.
    and it would be good to have 1/2 from HEART/FRIST on the council. Just got to learn to trust and communicate more, which will come in time,
    I just want a honest/open council which i dont think we have had for the last 15/20 years.

  5. Nobby Nobbs January 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    The runway at Lands end has been closed for a number of weeks due to heavy rain. We are now in January soon to be entering February followed by March and April, traditionally the wettest months of the year, so looking at it realisticly, barring a miracle, the chances are, that Land end isn’t going to open again this side of Easter.

    I can live with that, I just wish that the issco would ‘call it’ and ‘say’ all flights will be to Newquay until further notice, that way we could ‘plan’ our trips. Its the current will we/won’t we that makes the journey so annoying because you don’t know whether to make arrangements for lands end or Newquay.

    We all know the issues, just be honest with us, then we can make the necessary arrangements. Its the not knowing that annoys people.

  6. Isles of Scilly Travel January 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Passengers who have booked to travel via Land’s End Airport are being transferred to Newquay Airport at no extra cost. Passengers who do not wish to use the transport provided can make their own way to Newquay Airport. We have a Skybus representative at Newquay Airport who will assist you with any issues, but we do ask passengers to pre book transport if it is required. We appreciate that the
    current situation is not ideal for all passengers travelling between the islands; but we are doing all we can to assist in these unusual circumstances.

  7. Kev January 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    A lie from a reputable source, it’s called slander. Shouldn’t you check the facts first, before posting yet another negative comment about ISSCo. Mr Nobbs – local people on the islands and mainland are employed by ISSCo. Does your open hostility to that company extend to them as well? I see why you need to remain anonymous. Your comments are beneath contempt.

    • Nobby Nobbs January 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Kev, my comments are directed more the the management and organisation than the staff on the ground.
      If an alternative company came along that was better organised, perhaps they would pay better wages as well?, either way they would need experienced staff, so jobs isn’t really an issue.

      Ask your self this. if another company set up shop with comparative prices, I wouldn’t be surprised if 85% of the ISSco customers moved on mass to the alternative company if only to see what the service was like and, if it was better they’d probably stay there, if not then they’d return to the ISSco.

      We’ve all had stuff go missing in transit
      We’ve all had stuff damaged in transit
      As for the pricing, it sometimes seems like its made up as they go along.
      From a customers point of view the service ain’t great

  8. Katie F January 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    ISLANDER. FRIST are asking for clarity on transport policies – I think that’s got a lot to do with all of us! It’s not really any different to HEART wanting to know where candidates stand on other issues, and I’m personally glad that FRIST are asking candidates what they think about travel – it’s something that affects all of us and all of our businesses.

    On another note, we are LOVING capitals at the moment on here, aren’t we?!

  9. Adam Morton,St.Martins January 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I think Skybus should be given a break! they can’t lay a hard runway over night and they cant land a plane on a mud runway and they can’t fly in fog. I have met unfortunates who have had to take a £40 special boat to St.Marys and annother home because the office dosen’t open till just before the flight that was cancelled was due so perhaps a lttle better communication could help? Its also hard for FRIST to present the needs of the community without being labeled a trouble maker. February is usually the wettest coldest month so I doubt there will be much change. lets just hope it dries up by easter!

  10. local January 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

    and the world is flat clive..!

    YES they are transporting passengers FOC from newquay to Penzance and vice versa if you had surface travel booked.

    also if you are booked through LEQ then you dont pay the £5 ADT at newquay The steamship pay it for you

  11. Fran Grottick January 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I think the confusion might have arisen if the day of your
    planned travel was when it had already been decided
    that LE was to be closed.
    You could then only book to NQ and so transport would be
    your responsibility. Seems a bit tough, though.

  12. Clive January 20, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Perhaps what I heard was a lie but the information I received was from a reputable source.

  13. Pat Hicks January 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Skybus are transfering people from penzance to newquay..that i know.
    hopefully the council,steamship com, frist and heart will communicate better in future.. communication and trust is the way forward.
    And i am looking forward to the return of the boat.
    whats the saying…. it can only get better. happy days eh.

  14. ISLANDER January 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    May i ask who is on the frist committee… as i feel that there seems to be some nick picking going on , and i feel that the council, steamship company and frist should be all working together. if not why not. is it to do with TRUST..START pulling together…. why dont you all try and get together and have a chat, try and start trusting each other and while your about it invite Heart to attend.. also what has frist got to do with the council elections in may. what is that all about. !! dont you think you should stick with transport issues first..

  15. Nobby Nobbs January 20, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I’d expect nothing less from the Steamship company
    The sooner they go out of business the better

    • A holidaymaker January 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Be careful what you wish for Nobby Nobbs or you will end up with no transport at all!

  16. Andy Forest January 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Clive, either you are misinformed or that is a blatant lie. A colleague of mine flew via Newquay yesterday and transport was laid on just as it has been since this incessant rain started affecting flights from Land’s End. All at no extra cost. Well done to Skybus for making the best of a bad situation.

  17. Simon January 19, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Well that’s not true, I was up at the airport Friday and Skybus were asking everyone who checked in if they needed the bus down to Penzance.

  18. Clive January 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    And on top of that, Skybus are charging passengers extra to fly to Newquay, so you cannot book to Lands End. They have also stopped providing transport to and from Penzance, so you have to make your own way out of an airport in the middle of nowhere at your own expense!