Penzance Heliport Ltd is disappointed that the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has chosen to ignore rules put in place to protect the islands’ environment; rules with which Penzance Heliport has fully complied.

Working with the Council of the Isles of Scilly and Natural England, we have devised flight paths to avoid the Eastern Isles during the bird breeding season and reduced the number of flights to Tresco Heliport. We believe it is important to protect Scilly’s environment, and it is vital the Council and Natural England ensure all operators carry out equally rigorous assessments. It is not for one Company to ride rough-shod over the rules at the expense of these islands.

We remain concerned that Island Helicopters is distracting the Steamship Company from the challenges facing its sea services, as recently highlighted by the Transport and Maritime Minister. The replacement of the islands’ freight and passenger vessels are the issues islanders and businesses want and deserve to be resolved urgently.

The islands need a strong Steamship Company, and we are concerned that Island Helicopters will put the Company at serious financial risk for the sake of a vanity project aimed solely at preventing competition. Island Helicopters is not the service islanders, businesses and friends of the Isles of Scilly want to see, as demonstrated by the fact only around 10% of seats for this season have been sold to date. Many of these tickets represent displacement from the Steamship Company’s fixed wing services, not real growth for the islands.

If a service from Land’s End aboard a small 8 passenger helicopter was the right answer, we would have welcomed it. However, the Isles of Scilly needs a helicopter service that provides real resilience, real growth and real competition. This is what Penzance Heliport will provide, and is the reason more than 11,600 people have now signed a petition in favour of it, with over 3,000 people showing their support to Cornwall Council.

We remain as committed to the Penzance Heliport project as ever, and look forward to providing the service the islands deserve in due course.

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9 Comments

Antony · May 21, 2018 at 9:17 am

Exactly !!!!

Mary and Melvyn Chown · May 21, 2018 at 9:19 am

Totally agree with the above statement. We sIncerely hope that Penzance Heliport gets the go ahead very soon!

Vivienne · May 21, 2018 at 10:08 am

I understand that the Duchy of Cornwall owns Scilly isles and the Steamship company and it is run as a cooperative business to serve the islands, therefore the helicopters should be allowed as a service that will compliment what is already running.

    Penzance Heliport · May 21, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Vivienne – thank you for you comment. Unfortunately this is not correct; the Duchy of Cornwall is the landowner of the Isles of Scilly but has no role with the Steamship Company which is a private company.

burman · May 21, 2018 at 2:19 pm

yes you are correct but the IOSS company are not good value for money they only want to keep control over the islands and penzance in all ways the worst company ever to trade in this area

Peter Gildener · May 21, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Having watched a short video of the IOSSC helicopter landing in an open field I was absolutely horrified that there were no safety measures in place. There was no sign of the fire service, groundcrew or other emergency services.

It seems that the IOSSC is more than happy to flout any statutory requirements for safety in the interests of their pockets. I trust that the council will have taken note of such hubris and their petty minded attempts to sabotage the Penzance Heliport service which is behaving honourably and professionally.

    Pete · May 27, 2018 at 8:53 am

    I am not sure exactly what short video Peter Gildener saw but I suspect that his “open field” was actually the airport on St Marys where the helicopter is operating from grass to the east of the runway and apron. Full fire cover and appropriate safety measures are in force. It is important to remain factual in the debate – I was disappointed about many incorrect statements being made about both services while I was in Scilly last week. Whatever the rights and wrongs might be there is no flouting of safety requirements

Bronwyn · May 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm

As an islander it seems the circus show, albeit quite entertaining for journalists, is getting out of hand. Why don’t you both just allow each other to both operate, then we will have CHOICE and resilience….

Mike Baldrey · June 1, 2018 at 11:12 am

I would be interested to know how much the Island Helicopter service is losing currently
putting the other IOSSC services in jeopardy, surely bad for the Islands in the long term?

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