Council Won’t Give Up St Mary’s Airport If Choice Of Operator ‘Not Satisfactory’
Councillors voted last autumn to hand back the airport lease. Their 12-month notice period is due to expire on the 23rd September this year and the Duchy of Cornwall is currently looking for a new operator once the Council withdraws.
The Council has always maintained that they would continue to run the facility if a new operator couldn’t be found in time.
But at Tuesday’s Full Council meeting, Chairman Amanda Martin told councillors: “We have always said that we would not hand over the airport unless we were fully satisfied about the body that was going to take over. We have no intention to leave the community in the lurch.”
She also said: “There is no question that this council is abandoning the airport without a satisfactory organisation to run it in place.”
We contacted the Council’s Press Office and Cllr Martin after the meeting to ask about the authority’s role in selecting a future operator for the airport and whether the Council has any veto on who is appointed by the Duchy.
We also asked what Cllr Martin meant by “a satisfactory organisation” to run the airport.
The Council decline to answer, but issued this statement: “As previously stated, the Council stands by its promise to continue to operate the airport should no alternative operator be found by the end of the current lease.
“The Council will work with the airport’s landlord and offer any help, support or advice that is requested to assist their search for alternative operators and to ensure a smooth transfer of the service should a new operator be found.”
The Duchy of Cornwall said: “As the current leaseholder, we fully expect the Council to take an active role in the appointment of a new airport operator and in the subsequent handover. Importantly, services at the airport will remain unaffected throughout this process.”