Airport Upgrades Given Green Light By Brussels

Land's End Airport

Land’s End Airport

Plans to hard-surface the runway at Land’s End Airport and improve the surface and navigational facilities at St Mary’s have been approved by Brussels.

Work had been on hold since March when the European Commission began checks to ensure that the £6.5 million Scilly and £2.6 million mainland schemes didn’t give unfair commercial advantage over other airports or operators.

Both projects have now passed the state aid rules.

The Commission says St Mary’s airport is the only such facility on the islands and only allows flights from small, short-range aircraft. That means the financial aid doesn’t distort competition.

Similarly, they say improvements at Land’s End will increase the accessibility to the Cornwall region, a key part of Europe’s transport policy.

This is the first grant that the EC has assessed under their new, simplified aviation guidelines, which promote development of Europe’s more isolated regions.

Chairman of the Transport Committee Chris Thomas says he’s pleased that the Council has addressed this challenge successfully.

Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, Rob Goldsmith, says he’s delighted that the EC has found no state aid issues with the funding.

The next step is for formal contracts to be exchanged between the UK Government and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

Rob says the company can then decide when to carry out the work.



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