Plans For New Penzance Heliport Announced

Artists's impression of new heliport on Jelbert Way, Penzance

Artists’s impression of new heliport on Jelbert Way, Penzance

A new helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly is coming a step closer following the announcement today of a £2m private-sector investment plan.

And a planning application for a new heliport on Jelbert Way, Penzance, is expected to be submitted this autumn, following a public event to discuss the plans in September.

The proposed location is close to the site of the former BIH heliport on Eastern Green where a helicopter service to St Mary’s and Tresco operated for 48 years, before being closed down in October 2012.

Robert Dorien-Smith, the owner of Tresco Estate and an Isles of Scilly councillor is one of the investors in Penzance Heliport Ltd.

Robert said: “The reinstatement of the popular and efficient helicopter service will provide a much needed injection of confidence and opportunity into the economies of both the Isles of Scilly and west Cornwall.”

Robert added that helicopters can operate in poorer visibility and fly at a lower level than other aircraft, offering better access and flexibility for those visiting, working and living on the islands.

The new helicopter service will be operated by modern AgustaWestland AW139 15-seater helicopters, which are quieter and faster than other models, and are equipped with state-of-the-art navigation systems.

But gaining planning approval for a new heliport won’t be easy.

Former helicopter service operator BIH had planned to build a new heliport at St Erth following the sale of the Eastern Green site to Sainsbury.

But they abandoned the application in November 2011 following strong opposition from local residents.

There will be a public exhibition, where islanders can find out more about the helicopter service, on Friday 16th September from 12.30pm to 3pm at The Old Weslyan Chapel. A similar event will be held in Penzance’s Acorn Theatre on 8th September.

More information about the project is available at

41 Responses to Plans For New Penzance Heliport Announced

  1. Ewart September 20, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I think most people would agree that a Helicopter service to the Islands could be beneficial, however will such a service increase the number of passengers to the Islands or just decrease the number of passengers using the Skybus??
    If I an correct Mr. Dorian-Smith Company is only backing the development of a Hiliport, not the operating of the helicopter service this would be in the hands of another company. There is in existence a company called The Isles of Scilly Helicoprer.Co registration No.09884935 is this the Company which will provide the service??
    Out of interest the Isles of Scilly Councils notice to terminate the lease of St.Marys airport ends on the 23rd of this month,who will operate the airport from this date,and what effect if any will this have on the proposed helicopter service.

  2. Ray Wornes September 20, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Private or Public James? So who says the new Helicopter service will be privately funded? The redevelopment of the St.Mary’s Airport was taxpayer funded and wasn’t the redevelopment of the Lands End Airport taxpayer funded too? I can’t imagine the taxpayer avoiding making some contribution to a new Penz Heliport Service. Many millions spent and not any kind of share is owned by the public. That wouldn’t be how private finance would work. Judging by the many millions the taxpayer has spent perhaps except for the aircraft and on basic asset value we the taxpayer should be entitled to own quite a lot? And if we are paying for any part of it James then we are all entitled to use it. Don’t hide James be brave and put up your real name. You will get more respect.

    • Leslie Welch September 21, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Or will you Ray?

  3. John Allsop September 13, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Why all the negative comments. We should welcome back the helicopter service. People who can afford it will use it. If not enough people use it it will fail. I hope it is a financial success.

  4. David Carpenter September 10, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I write as a pilot of the route from 1994-1999 with a total of thirty-six years helicopter flying.

    The point that is being missed is that the aircraft has two engines, either of which can sustain flight. Pilots must demonstrate their ability to fly safely on one engine during their six-monthly checks. In 36 years, I experienced two engine failures, both of which were under test conditions. On the line, never a problem.

    Autorotation is a perfectly practical emergency manoeuvre which all pilots are taught as part of their training. If it were not so, no-one would fly them. I, like all my military contemporaries, carried out probably thirty autorotations leading to engine-off landings during training in single-engined helicopters.

    In the unlikely event of an engine failure in a single-engine helicopters, the pilot must react quickly (as he or she is trained to do) but as soon as autorotative flight is established the aircraft does not plummet but descends under full control to enable the helicopter to reach a suitable landing point, incidentally far shorter than is needed by even the smallest fixed-wing aircraft.

    When an engine fails on a multi-engine helicopter, the other engine continues to drive the rotor sustaining flight. The collective pitch must be reduced to reduce demand on the good engine but the aircraft is then flown to the desired landing ground for a run-on landing. After thirty-six years of flying both civil and military I can only remember two incidences of a double-engine failure in helicopters, both in abnormal conditions. That is noteworthy considering the millions of helicopter hours flown in the last thirty-five years

    David Carpenter

    • Peter September 10, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      David: Thank you for your expert information. I have learnt.

  5. Adam Morton, St.Martins September 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

    For all the chit chat, numbers fell for years before BIH quit as RDS himself points out .
    What any of us think or want is irrelevant. Its his money, his risk,his island ,all he needs is PZ planning. It won’t affect most people unless you can afford the £220+ fares.
    What it will mean is that less Tresco people will travel through St.Mary’s airport so consequently it will cost more per capita to keep it open. RDS left FRIST the moment he secured a deal with the SSco, where his wealthy guests, staying in top end acomodation, paid less for their fares than other visitors & islanders. Subsequently the SSco achieved record profits, presumably by recovering the loss from other visitors & islanders! Anyone hoping for a freeride or a change in fortunes is clearly deluded, however the slight extra degree of resilience in “cross wind” conditions must be welcomed .
    Perhaps people would do well to heed RDS’s example and look to their own salvation rather than expecting “someone” else to do something sometime!
    Like it or lump it, the reliability and uninterrupted ,quality service is only part of the issue affecting Scillies tourist trade . The declining numbers were and are part of a bigger problem of value for money in a heavily competed world abounding in online comparisons. I believe we have slowed the decline by at least some people holding their prices for the last decade until they become mainland comparable. Unfortunately this does not cover the 30-40% higher costs associated with transport . The SSco has then hiked prices yet again and cancelled out any good we might have hoped to gain.
    Without investment in a budget option and a freight subsidy, I can see only the ones charging rip off rates surviving for a while longer. The number of people willing to pay a couple of thousand in accommodation, £200-300 per fare, £6 a pint and £50 a meal is I think extremely limited and only possible in conjunction with the lower end of the market making the various services & infrastructure cost effective per head, in economy of scale.
    There is nothing wrong in catering for the people willing to pay top dollar and it can be beneficial in emergencies but the hype created over it should not obscure the very real needs facing the island’s lowest earning businesses & residents and visitors of all ages who will provide the backbone of the future economy.

  6. Adrian Davis September 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I would like to add the following points to this debate.
    1) All man made motion can lead to accidents…e.g., people can fall out of bed (!) and all accidents have unique aspects so comparisons are of little value
    2) The salient point of Helicopter flight , (ignored so far), is that the ‘lift’ required for flight is generated by a rotary’ wing’ and not by a fixed wing. This requires an great deal more energy than flow over a fixed wing thus more cost, a larger carbon footprint and more pollution and noise
    3) Autorotation IS possible but the rotor and gear box must be fully functioning and directional control is lost.. The loads are much greater than those on winged (passenger) aircraft. I recall one tragic event in 1970 when the rotor parted from a SAR chopper on the East coast..
    ( I would be interested to hear of any autorotation incidents that have been survived)
    I can recall the prop coming off a light A/C a year or so ago ,in North Devon which was survived and of course the magnificent airmanship on the Hudson river some years ago when all the passengers survived a landing on an icy river!!
    4) One last thought …. ..had the present generation of STOL A/C been available when the Rapides needed replacing we would probably not be in this debate now!

  7. Peter September 6, 2016 at 11:57 am

    So, much the kind of reaction that I expected to my previous post, having touched upon what is clearly a sensitive issue for reasons which I had hoped to understand, but clearly I shall not. The Scilly Today messageboard really has become quite a nasty place over the last two or three years. There was no need for the vitriolic comments that were made in response to my post which was an attempt to seek clarification of why so few people seem to want to talk about the 1983 disaster which has an important bearing on the present issue.

    To Roger P: I am aware of auto-rotation. Would you please note that I qualified my comments from the start with “I’m no aeronaut… I’d be delighted to be corrected on this”? My amateur understanding of the risk with auto-rotation is that whilst in theory it’s possible to use this to “steer” a helicopter to some degree to avoid a vertical plummet, in practice the pilot has very little time to do so with the controls being more complex in a helicopter than in a plane. The aeroplane pilot has the luxury of time to effect a rescue whilst the plane naturally glides. Against my argument, a helicopter has the advantage of being able to land almost anywhere in an emergency, but a plane needs a large strip of flattish land.
    To Augusta W: re “What utter bunkum! Sadly the crash was caused by pilot error”. There’s no need to be so rude. It is completely irrelevant whether the 1983 crash was caused by pilot error or mechanical failure. I don’t think either explanation would have offered an ounce of comfort to those left grieving. I have no wish to go into the reasons for the disaster. I was merely pointing out that twenty people died as a result of a helicopter journey to Scilly and no-one has died as a result of a Skybus journey to Scilly. Fact. This has to be entered into the equation in considerations of the reliability of helicopters versus planes. That was the whole point of my post.
    To High Lanes Drifter: re “You really are talking arrant nonsense”: I was expressing puzzlement rather than making definitive claims. You call my words “flippant”. I don’t think they were. I think they were respectfully seeking clarification on an issue of life and death.

    So, I’ll say no more, having no wish to be subject to such unnecessary hostility.

  8. Thomasina Cairns September 6, 2016 at 9:15 am

    To defend my ( & Peter ) comments , one fact is certain , helicopters are as prone to delays from fog as fixed wing aircraft .Granted Penzance is more protected than Lands
    End , but if visibility on Scilly is poor then flying will be disrupted .
    I note the remark ‘pilot error ‘ regarding 1983 crash but the truth is that flight should never have taken off from Penzance . The fog on Scilly was as thick as I had ever seen it & at that time I had lived on the islands for over 40 years .

    • James - Islander September 6, 2016 at 10:31 am

      As a point of fact the helicopter have a better operating window with regard to visibility so whilst they cannot fly in thick fog they can fly in certain conditions when the fixed wing could not.

      They also will have the ability to fly from two commercial airports rather than just the council run airport meaning extensions etc are much easier to grant.

      So all in all the helicopter will be more resilient than the fixed winged operation but of course cannot fly in 100% fog

      I look forward to spotting the ‘knockers’ and doom mongers in the queue to get on a helicopter when the planes aren’t flying and maybe I will have a handy hat to present them with to eat!!

      In any case I said before if you don’t like it, don’t use it, there are plenty of us that see the vital importance of the return of this service.

  9. Peter September 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    At the risk of being a party-pooper amidst the euphoria at the news of a possible return of the helicopters, and with apologies for any ensuing distress, I think we have to mention the elephant in the room. It has intrigued me for many years why there is so little mention in the islands (admittedly I’m not an islander), with the notable exception of the plaque in the church, of one of the biggest disasters ever to affect Scilly: the crash of the helicopter on 16 July 1983 with the death of twenty people. I’m no aeronaut, but my understanding is that when helicopters get into life-threatening trouble, they go straight down, whereas planes can usually have a more controlled descent. I’d be delighted to be corrected on this. My point is that the helicopters to Scilly were portrayed as more reliable than the planes. Twenty dead does not equate to reliability. I do appreciate that the incident led to an international safety review with many recommendations to prevent such disasters from ever happening again, but, nevertheless, a helicopter is a helicopter. Again, I may be wrong, but weren’t we often told that the helicopters to Scilly were the last remaining commercial passenger helicopter flights in the UK/Europe/anywhere? Maybe there was a very good reason why helicopters fell out of favour.

    • James - Islander September 5, 2016 at 3:19 pm


      I presume you do not drive, travel by train or fly because as we know the crash statistics on those all show they re clearly less safe than helicopters! Anyway I think all flight travel has changed beyond recognition in the many, many years that have passed.

      The best thing about this PRIVATELY FUNDED service is that you can vote with your feet and if you don’t like it, don’t use it! I hope Mr Ray Wornes take note of this after his silly attitude. No public funds are being used so if it doesn’t work its hurts no one but the owners of the service and judging my all I have spoken to on St Marys, there are an awful lot of people who want it back asap.

      Year after year we ask for improvements in our vital transport network, now someone is stepping up to the plate – Well Done to all involved and please ignore the doom mongers – The vast majority of islanders and visitors are behind you.

    • Roger P September 5, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      Peter. Helicopters can glide after loss of power. It is called auto rotation. It is so annoying when people talk about items they do not understand.

    • Augusta W - Islander September 5, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      What utter bunkum! Sadly the crash was caused by pilot error. I welcome the return of the helicopter and wish the private consortium luck in their efforts to reestablish a service.

    • High Lanes Drifter September 5, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      You really are talking arrant nonsense; the helicopter that crashed was not the subject of mechanical failure, sadly as I recall it was the result of pilot error in poor visibility.
      No equivalent fixed wing plane could be expected to survive an impact with the ocean at speed. Your flippant un-researched comments are regrettable.

  10. David Ticehurst September 4, 2016 at 11:34 am

    All one needs to do is to compare the number of times that the BIH helicopters were grounded each year due to fog and contrast that with the number of times Skybus does not fly due to fog, rain, wind and the previously waterlogged airport at Lands End (and which itself suffers from more foggy days than Penzance). And any reference to BIH’s technical difficulties that led to delays and groundings etc will be a wrong comparison as the new scheme will have a new helicopter. as opposed to the 40 year old Sikorsky helicopters

    I cannot see that there are any downsides to the reintroduction of another service to bring people to and from Scilly. In the absence of a subsidised service or improvements to the current monopoly what is there not to like about a new helicopter service ?

  11. Thomasina Cairns September 3, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Whilst we are arguing the pros & cons of a new helicopter service , which I feel ,price wise would probably be out of reach of the average family , consider yesterday ?
    Even the royals couldn’t get to the islands until the rain & fog cleared , so I really don’t see how the expense of bringing back a helicopter service , which will be operating from the same area as B I H , is going to make much of a difference to Scilly .
    People seem to have conveniently forgotten how often B I H was grounded because of
    fog etc .

  12. tambrose31 September 1, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Why privately funded for private profit? Isn’t this exactly the dort of thing the EU will fund. Oh hang on a minute. I have just been reminded that Cornwall voted to leave the EU.

  13. Ray Wornes August 29, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    You say that “bringing competition back into the marketplace cannot be a bad thing for fares”. I would call that wishful thinking. The problem is I can’t see how there will be any more competition at all in fact fixed wing fares may be encouraged to rise closer to the much higher helicopter fares. Nothing in these proposals will give travellers cheaper fares which is why a different kind of Council representing ordinary islanders should have been involved many years ago in bringing about major change. Maybe now there will be some pressure on the SSCo to provide better solutions to bad weather provision but they never have. Most people could want to use the cheaper Skybus service which is one of the reasons why helicopters failed in 2012 and if we had the right kind of cheap boat service then that could I suspect corner the market in the summer. If the SSCo won’t change then I would hope to see a competitor make that happen.

  14. David Ticehurst August 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I find the comments from the pessimists and doubters in response to this proposed venture to be extraordinary. Following the advent of package holidays abroad holidays to Scilly have always been expensive , but it is the unique and ( hitherto) unspoiled nature of the islands that attracted regular visitors year after year. The demise of the BIH helicopter service allowed the IoSSCo to have a monopoly over the service leading to ever increasing prices and deterioration in the quality of the service they provided and a reluctance to improve it. (The unloading facilities at Penzance on a dark and wet September evening are redolent of a third world country, and are hardly the thing to leave a happy memory at the end of a holiday). The helicopters were always going to be more expensive but the advantages: greater ability to fly in adverse weather conditions; swift turnaround; seamless transport Penzance to Tresco and St Mary’s; friendly staff etc outweighed that disadvantage as is demonstrated by the enthusiastic responses of former visitors on this site.

    I am in no doubt that the decline in visitor numbers, the demise of the wonderful St Martin’s hotel and the sadly struggling businesses on the islands have much to do with the absence of a regular helicopter link. And such a service will be available to help with medical emergencies, get mail and newspapers to the islands quicker than Skybus or the Scillonian, provide essential supplies when weather delays the present deliveries and provide competition to the IoSSCo who may have to up their game again. No wonder the Chief Executive says that there is no demand for such a service. ( He would say that wouldn’t he?)

    What is regrettable is the ineptitude of the current Council who have failed to make any serious efforts to ensure that there are subsidies for transport to and from the islands or to do anything of a tangible nature to improve the transport facilities.

    That it has been left to a private consortium to do something about it should be welcomed rather than criticised. If the airport at St Mary’s suffers that is entirely the fault of those Councillors who have presided over its decline year on year.

    Islanders and visitors who love these islands and want to show that they do should support this venture in every way possible – just as many of us did when trying to argue against BIH’s decision to end their previous service and campaigned in every way to dissuade them from doing so.

    • Geoff Robertson August 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Well said David.
      We have just returned after our 23rd visit to the islands and on this occasion we had no travel disruption but that’s not always been the case.
      Hats off to Mr Dorien-Smith for his efforts.

      • Snake Pliskin2 August 29, 2016 at 8:37 am

        Nice to see that you can still buy tinted glasses in this world.

  15. Mike from Corsham August 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Great news !!!!!
    I will start to visit again,

  16. Ray Wornes August 27, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    This new initiative to bring back a helicopter service shouldn’t depend on whose private business is going to benefit from its introduction. Surely it should be what is best for the whole Scilly community and tourism. It was obvious to many that this community and its businesses needed a helicopter service and therefore It was hard to understand why that last initiative led by our previous MP Andrew George didn’t take off when the plan broke new ground with the involvement of Westland which should have guaranteed a continuous and viable service. Having Westland providing the machines and the technical back up overcame the biggest obstacle to a restart of the service. Even a new site for the Heliport at Penzance was identified. It would be interesting to know whether this new set-up is basically the same plan as Andrew proposed but has come about because businesses have found that they are losing out especially in bad weather. I hope we are not creating a similar opportunity for a private owner to make a killing by selling off yet another Penzance Heliport to a Supermarket.
    We have just lost a day due to fog and lost money on advanced train tickets. Thank goodness we didn’t have to fork out for overnight accommodation on St Mary’s or in Penz. It would seem that adequate contingency plans do not yet exist to address bad weather situations. Another question is the level of fares and whether they will compete with fixed wing which perhaps isn’t very likely. Quoting the Newquay Skybus fare instead of the Lands End fare is worrying. The cost for a family is already prohibitive. We don’t want any visitors to give up on Scilly as a holiday destination due to too costly transport or bad weather problems that could be solved either by an all weather Helicopter service or the earlier use of an extra boat.
    Once again this Council’s back seat position on Public Transport is letting down this community. Whatever happened to the Scottish model of subsidised transport? Helicopters will probably fly to St Mary’s so once again get moving Councillors and start representing us all rather than allowing business interests to take over. Transport is a community interest and Scilly’s Council needs a new set up that puts the Public first, which would need a community led Council Transport Committee. We should never have allowed Shareholders to represent the company, the tourists and the community interest all at the same time. If these new machines are smaller and quieter then that will be a help but low flying over our countryside or over occupied property has been a nuisance in the past and is not acceptable otherwise what’s the point in living or holidaying on Scilly? An exhibition where no one gets to know anyone else’s concerns is undemocratic and is the worst kind of ‘so called consultation’. Come on Councillors it’s time to restore some kind of balance.

    • Solomon August 28, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Community interest, put the public first, you must be joking Ray where have you been?

    • An islander August 29, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Sorry – I don’t quite understand if you’re for or against the proposal! You appear to think it’s a good idea on one hand and that the council should have been more involved (IOS Council are struggling to balance the books as it is, so not quite sure how you think they would achieve this) but on the other hand seem to be bemoaning any new service to the islands?!

      You also jump to rather a lot of conclusions about the new service and the motives of its operator (“I hope we are not creating a similar opportunity for a private owner to make a killing by selling off yet another Penzance Heliport to a Supermarket.” – why would you even think that?!?!)

      And yes, the helicopter will be more expensive than fixed wing from Land’s End; it always was because rotary aircraft are more costly to operate. However, bringing competition back into the marketplace cannot be a bad thing for fares, quality of provision and the frankly laughable “customer service” provided by the Steamship Company at present.

      • Leslie Welch August 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

        Logic and an argument that is both fathomable and coherent are not the prerequisites of one who dwells in the ‘house of Corbyn’.

  17. a local August 27, 2016 at 7:04 am

    May be good news on one hand but on the other it inevitably will be rather expensive if this proposed helicopter should ever come to fruition. For a start, – faster – less seating than the previous helicopters so on the other hand it is obvious that it is going to be an expensive ride, If it should ever materialise.

  18. Mikes wife August 26, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Mikes wife
    So, I think the return of the helicopter is a great concept
    Prices..the suggestion mentioned is the flight will cost the same as a Newquay skybus flight at £220, why? Can the flight from Penzance not be equal to the skybus flight from Lands end?
    Then there is parking fees, as a captive cash cow, I guess they will copy the £7 odd per day
    No reduced rates for timeshares?
    Then we currently have the Tresco Ticket..will that stay once the helicopter is running? Guess not.
    At the end of the day, with all the benefits to the Islands, it is a private consortium out to make money and the profits will come from those who love visiting the islands

    • An islander August 29, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Hi Mike’s Wife…

      Yes – I would imagine the rotary service will be more expensive than the fixed wing, because helicopters are more expensive to operate… The helicopter always was more expensive than Skybus from Land’s End.

      Reference parking – who knows what they will charge, but why on earth should Timesharers get a reduced rate over other visitors to the islands?!?

  19. Snake Pliskin2 August 26, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I wonder if this is really the savior of the islands. Everybody seems to say they will only come back if the helicopter runs, however will they really be willing to pay the potentially significantly higher fares. Also passenger figures were in decline even before the helicopter stopped, this will only split the existing numbers not necessarily greatly increase them. Whether we have a helicopter or not people will not be willing to pay high fares and it will have a detrimental effect on the islands becoming government subsidised. I for one will not be holding my breath for this to come into fruition!

    • An islander August 29, 2016 at 9:01 am

      The Steamship Co has had the monopoly on transport here for nearly 5 years now and no subsidy has emerged – or is even on the horizon… I don’t think the return of the helicopter is going to make any difference to that situation

  20. Pauline Jackson August 25, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    At last!! We used the service as visitors for many years and sincerely hope that planning permissions are obtained. We hope that many island residents will also be in favour of the project – it was always popular with many regular and first time visitors and needs that support to be shown now we have news of a hopeful first step. Best wishes to all involved in moving the project to a favourable conclusion.

  21. G August 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Shame there wasn’t this much interest and support when the heliport showed signs of closure back in 2012. Back as far as 2010 even when it first announced it was looking to sell up.
    It’s great for Penzance and the islands, but feel more support should have been shown when it was needed

  22. trsecofan August 25, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Since the demise of the helicopter four out of our last eight visits to the islands have resulted in one way being changed from air to sea and incurring either the loss of days on the island and extra accommodation expenses or just hanging around St Mary’s airport with a young grandson, until late in the day and then having to find island accommodation or use the jet boats as last week because we had appointments on the mainland.
    If need be we will pay more for the helicopter even if it means coming less often, but with the current uncertainty of getting to the islands and back by air and difficulty negotiating the quay steps and small plane, it may be the end of over 35 years of visiting the islands.

  23. Jane Mann August 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    One word, BRILLIANT!!!

  24. Simon August 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    On the face of it this seems like really very good news, however passengers flying directly to Tresco will inevitably have detrimental financial implications for the council operated airport on St. Mary’s (which is now likely to be contending with the additional financial burden of a big overspend).
    I trust that due regard has been given to the wider implications whenever councillors have had discussions or made decisions regarding the airport on St. Mary’s.
    This proposal has obviously been worked on for some considerable time and I hope that if it comes to fruition it affords real benefits to visitors and islanders alike.

    • An islander August 29, 2016 at 9:03 am

      From Robert Dorrien Smith’s interviews on TV and radio last week his argument is to “grow the size of the pie and then everyone’s slice grows” – i.e. the idea is to increase visitor numbers and for the new service to work in harmony with the existing operators and facilities, as they did for decades. As the helicopter will be flying into both St Mary’s and Tresco if there is an increase in visitor numbers the airport should actually benefit and become more viable… Fingers crossed the project comes off!

  25. David Ticehurst August 25, 2016 at 9:50 am

    The best news for Scilly for a long time. Let us hope that it happens and that all islanders and visitors get behind the project to make it work.

  26. James - Islander August 25, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Fabulous news for the islands, 2018 cant come quick enough!