Scilly’s Airport Placed Under ‘Special Attention’ By CAA Over Proposed Reorganisation

airport terminal frontThe Council will negotiate with the Civil Aviation Authority this week to try to prevent a shutdown of the airport by its regulator.

The CAA has written to the Council outlining how St Mary’s airport is being placed under ‘special attention’.

This could ultimately lead to a suspension of its licence if issues aren’t addressed.

It’s happened after the CAA learned of staff concerns over the internal restructuring of the airport’s operations, as part of the Council’s redevelopment and cost-cutting exercise.

The regulator has an expectation of the responsibilities of accountable and senior personnel at airports. But there’s now a vacancy for the post of Senior Air Traffic Controller and the airport remains without a manager.

Members discussed the matter and the regulator’s communication in a closed session on Tuesday. Some councillors understand that a letter, sharing concerns with the CAA, has been sent from within the Authority.

Chief Executive Barry Keel declined to answer questions about it, saying it is a staffing matter.

The Council has issued a statement saying that the CAA has raised concerns over ongoing management arrangements through the reorganisation process. The Council says it has a number of options and is optimistic of a positive outcome.

In a statement to Radio Scilly, Richard Taylor of the CAA said that they can place an airport under “special attention” when it requires greater regulatory oversight. This can be because there have been significant operational changes or in order to achieve a satisfactory standard of regulatory compliance.

He confirmed that St Mary’s continues to hold an aerodrome licence and the CAA will be having further discussions with the Council this week.

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