MP Says Helicopter Plans For Scilly Still Progressing

An AgustaWestland 189 Helicopter

An AgustaWestland 189 Helicopter

Scilly’s MP is still in talks with AgustaWestland in connection with restarting a helicopter service to Scilly.

Andrew George met the company Co-Chairman Graham Cole at their London offices on Friday. And Mr George says further meetings are planned in a few weeks.

Andrew says AgustaWestland are continuing to number crunch and that it’s “tough” but “it’s coming out right at the moment.”

It’s understood that the company has offered the loan of a helicopter to start the service.

While he was in London, the MP viewed their new AW189 19-seater helicopter. It’s on display in the foyer of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

That model will be available from 2015.

If a service restarted next year, the smaller 12-seat AW139 would be used.

3 Responses to MP Says Helicopter Plans For Scilly Still Progressing

  1. Kev Wright June 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Land’s End would make sense.

    Even if they don’t get a runway down in time, surely they can manage a helipad! It would save looking for a new area in PZ and building new facilities. Surely a little extra traffic at Land’s End would help with funds for the Steamship Company who will soon need a new boat etc. I’m sure the new terminal can cope, and I’m sure that a newer helicopter and the better navigational aids we have will prevent fog from being the problem it was when the helicopter first flew from there many years ago. As long as there’s a decent bus/mini bus link into PZ it should be fine – and cheaper than finding a new spot!

    • Kev Wright June 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

      This might also be the time to mention this recent development in Scotland again:

      FRIST have been chasing a subsidised boat service, although this is still seeming unlikely. Maybe they’ll manage it, but I think it would be a waste anyway – just my opinion.

      This article relates to Campbeltown in Kintyre who’ve just been given government funding for an air route along with two other destinations.

      It’s been said that we’d only get funding for a sea service, and also that it would probably only be available to locals.

      Well these are air services and the funding is for tourists too, to try and boost that aspect of their economy.

      So – if we look at Scotland (and I believe part of the idea for FRIST was to receive similar treatment to other British island groups), they are getting money for an air service and one that is for tourists.

      In my opinion, while we have the backing of our MP who seems to be seriously looking into a new helicopter route, I think it would be the perfect opportunity for FRIST to channel its efforts (and they do work hard, there’s no denying that) into sorting this particular option instead of (what I believe to be) wasting time on getting the Scillonian sailing year-round. But that’s just my opinion. Whatever I say someone will disagree! That’s how it works! 🙂

  2. Ian T. June 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Whilst this can only be good news for islanders and visitors, the big question is now ‘where will they fly from’ with the Penzance heliport just history? Lands End? Whatever, all the NIMBY’s in West Cornwall will no doubt be up in arms..!