Council Planning To Share Airport Management With Steamship Company

airport terminal frontThe Council has approved a plan to share the management and air traffic control services at St Mary’s Airport with the Steamship Company, who run Land’s End Airport.

It’ll be for a 12-month period initially and will be subject to agreeing “satisfactory terms” with the Council.

And it could save up to £18,000 over the course of a year.

In minutes released from a closed-door meeting of the Council on the 21st January, Director of Place Craig Dryden said that the Airport Management Group had fully backed the proposal.

He also said that the Civil Aviation Authority looked upon the recommendations very favourably.

In November last year, St Mary’s airport was placed under “Special Attention” by the regulator over concerns raised by staff about the internal restructuring process.

The airport currently has vacancies for a Senior Air Traffic Controller and Airport Manager.

Last year, councillors questioned whether St Mary’s airport was being run as efficiently as possible, comparing it to Land’s End, which they said appeared to be operated with fewer staff.

A team of consultants from Blackpool Airport has been hired, at a cost of £5,000, to advise the Council on potential efficiencies.

Craig said the arrangement with Steamship Company subsidiary Westward Airways would allow them to spend more time considering and implementing long-term options.

The plan was supported by Transport Committee chairman Chris Thomas.

Cllr James Francis felt it was a welcome step in the right direction.