No Scilly Helicopter Decision Until After The Election.

Scilly's MP, Andrew George

Scilly’s MP, Andrew George

National politics will determine if and when Scilly’s helicopter service recommences.

Our MP says there’ll be no announcement on plans until after the election.

Andrew George says any decision on whether the government will underwrite a new rotary service for its first three years will be made in the summer.

It had been hoped that the Liberal Democrat Treasury Minister, Danny Alexander, would offer funding support for the AgustaWestland-backed plans during a visit to Penzance yesterday.

He didn’t.

Speaking to Radio Scilly after meeting with the minister, Andrew George confirmed that the project stakeholders, including the helicopter manufacturer, had asked for underwriting when they met with LibDem Minister Baroness Kramer before Christmas.

Mr George says there have been discussions between the parties and the Department for Transport but all he could say following the ministerial visit was that the government are “looking vigorously at it.”

Until then, we’re going to have to wait to hear whether a service will be able to launch in spring 2016.

The MP is positive about progress and says the key elements of the plan are in place.

He says there are brand new helicopters available, “more than one” operator interested in running the service, government departments looking at public sector support and “an extremely willing public.”

Andrew says he accepts that some locals want action, not words, and he was concerned that the Minister’s visit might raise expectations.

Mr George says the helicopter issue will form part of his re-election campaign.

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