Airport Improvements Pass Significant Funding Hurdle

Runway will need repairs soon

Runway at St Mary’s airport will be resurfaced

The £9m programme to improve air links to and from the islands has passed a significant hurdle for EU funding.

The proposals, including resurfacing of the runways and refurbishing the terminal at St Mary’s airport, as well as a new hardened runway at Land’s End, were submitted in June.

And Strategic Investment Officer, Diana Mompoloki, will tell councillors at next week’s P&R meeting, that the Convergence Management Group, responsible for reviewing ERDF funding applications, has recommended the project for approval, subject to certain conditions being met.

The Council has asked for £6.7m of EU money for the work.

£1m has already been pledged from the Regional Growth Fund and £1.3m will be provided by the Steamship Company, which owns Land’s End.

Transport to Scilly was seriously affected by poor weather over the past year.

Council data show that between April 2012 and April 2013, 522 flying hours were lost because of waterlogging at Land’s End, while 344 hours were affected by fog and low cloud.

The funding will allow for improved navigational aids, such as EGNOS, and new lighting to be installed at both airports, which could improve resilience in poor visibility.

The Council will now need to work with the Department for Communities and Local Government on writing a formal contract for the funding.

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