Medical Samples Should Be Flying On Skybus By March

skybus-planes-at-airportThe Steamship Company should be able to transport medical samples on Skybus planes by March.

It’s taken almost 18 months for a licence to be issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, in a process described as “crazy” and “Kafkaesque” by the Chairman of Scilly’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee last week.

The helicopter used to transport the material, including blood samples for testing on the mainland, before the service stopped in 2012, but Skybus were told they didn’t have the correct paperwork in place to do it.

Adrian Davis said CAA rules mean all company staff members involved in handling biohazards, including those on the Scillonian III ferry and flights, had to be trained.

On top of that, they need four trainers in place for the boat and two for the aircrew.

That involves the chosen staff going to Gatwick for two weeks.

Council officer Aisling Hick says the Authority had written to the CAA, MP Andrew George and the Local Enterprise Partnership to see if they could help trying to speed up the procedure.

But she says it was clear ”they’re simply the rules” and can’t be broken.

Cllr Christine Savill said it’s people in our community who are ill that are suffering and the committee needed to highlight that more.

She suggested trying to a get a few individual cases featured in the media.

That might win hearts and minds, she said.

The Steamship Company told Radio Scilly that two members of staff have undergone training so far, and in turn, they’ve carried out awareness training for all ground crew and pilots.

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