Council Won’t Give Up St Mary’s Airport If Choice Of Operator ‘Not Satisfactory’

airport may 2015The Council won’t give up St Mary’s Airport unless they’re ‘fully satisfied’ with the choice of operator, according to the Chairman Amanda Martin.

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.”

5 Responses to Council Won’t Give Up St Mary’s Airport If Choice Of Operator ‘Not Satisfactory’

  1. Stuart Moore March 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    If the council do give back the airport to the lease holder, as a tax payer who has just contributed to a £10,000,000 upgrade, I would be rather pissed off that that sum of ‘public’ money would in effect have been gifted to a private company, most likely the ISSco.
    Which would then lead me to wonder if this wasn’t the plan along, considering the number of ISSco shareholders on the council. Perhaps someone from the council would like to speak up!

    • Ewart Less March 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Very well said.
      In truth there might need to be an inquiry if the air operator gets the airport.
      Perhaps it would call for a retrospective view being taken of those who may have voted on issues surrounding the airport who had a financial interest in the sole operator?
      Declaring an interest doesn’t seem to be as fashionable as it used to be.
      Members defence could be that such action by them would suggest a modicum of forethought which is demonstrably lacking in every other sphere of their influence.

  2. Linguine March 15, 2016 at 11:20 am

    But but but you will have already abrogated the right to determine who would succeed as the preferred operator ‘oh great and powerful Linguist’.
    Surely your special powers of linguistic interpretation have not diminished so far as to render you ignorant of this most salient of facts?

  3. Fred up March 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    If I were a betting man then I’d put my money on the ISSco, do you reckon the few councillors who are share holders will declare an interest?

  4. James - Islander March 10, 2016 at 10:13 am

    The situation is quite clear, They have served notice and the lease with the council will be terminated on 23rd September 2016, it is now entirely in the hands of the freeholder as to who it sees fit to appoint, if indeed anyone is appointed.

    I do despair as to the competence and commercial knowledge of some of our councilors when a statement like this is made.

    It is no longer under there control to appoint or veto the next operator, they may want it to be but the legal position is quite clear.