Transport Group: Penzance ‘Superior’ Base for Isles of Scilly Helicopter Service

Friends of Isles of Scilly Transport (FRIST) has issued a strong statement in support of the project to reinstate helicopter flights from Penzance Heliport to the Isles of Scilly.

The campaign group’s statement says Penzance is ‘a superior’ terminal for a helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly, owing to its strong transport links and weather resilience benefits.

The statement also condemns the actions of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company as ‘spoiling tactics’ not taken ‘in the interests of the community’, stating the company’s proposed alternative helicopter service will ‘leave islanders and visitors at the mercy of a company whose exploitation of their monopoly position has earned it unprecedented unpopularity’.

Penzance Heliport has today reaffirmed its commitment to reinstate genuine choice and reliability to the Isles of Scilly transport system through a helicopter service from Penzance.

The near sea-level location of the Penzance Heliport site is the keystone to reinstating a reliable, weather-resilient helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly. Land’s End Airport – which suffers disruption on one in every four days each year – is the problem, not the solution.

FRIST campaigns to achieve affordable, reliable all year round lifeline transport links between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland to sustain the community and the tourism based economy upon which the community depends.

The full statement from FRIST reads:

FRIST was shocked to learn of the announcement by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group of their proposal to start a helicopter service in May. This will be recognised as a spoiling tactic rather than an action taken in the interests if the community, since the company strongly opposed through a judicial review the planning application for a heliport in Penzance by a competing service.


Even if this proposal comes to fruition, it leaves islanders and visitors at the mercy of a company whose exploitation of their monopoly position has earned it unprecedented unpopularity as evidenced by over 11,000 signatures on a petition in support of the Penzance heliport.


FRIST urges Penzance Heliport and Tresco Estate to pursue with vigour their own plans for a helicopter service from Penzance to the islands, bringing much needed competition on the route, and to operate from a superior mainland terminal for rail, bus and road accessibility and from a weather point of view.


– Friends of Isles of Scilly Transport, 15th February 2018

How You Can Help

The best way for our supporters to help make the project a reality is by commenting on the planning application.

You can submit your comments in one of three ways:

There’s plenty more information on how to make your comment on our dedicated page.

9 thoughts on “Transport Group: Penzance ‘Superior’ Base for Isles of Scilly Helicopter Service

  1. Emma Eberlein Reply

    I used the helicopter a lot over the years because my Mum lives in Penzance, it was reliable and convenient. I also used the plane if I needed to go further afield. Not everyone will use the helicopter when it is reinstated but it’s good to have choice; of transport, company you use and destination. I really hope it happens, it will benefit Penzance and Scilly.

  2. J E C CARTWRIGHT ( parish councillor for ludgvan parish). Reply

    The proposed penzance heliport is far too close to the 18 houses at Chy an More long rock. The massive swaths of sound energy that will hit these homes at every take off and landing will blight the lives of the families that live there.
    Helicopters should not be flying so close to people’s homes.

  3. Nigel Johnson Reply

    I’m mad its talking so long and the srteamship operating a helicopter from lands end

  4. Juliette scanlan Reply

    This is shameful.excuse to sabotage the project . Shame tge steamship company are trying once again to take the monoploy on this.
    Penzance wants this new service already proposed and IOS people deserve this. Stop thus .you didnt do this when old heliport closed so stop this now

  5. Pauline Jackson Reply

    I totally support the view expressed here. The tactics employed by the Steamship company have been shameful. Their only concern has been maintaining their monopoly of transport links rather than the superior Penzance departure location. I sincerely hope that Penzance helicopters will continue to pursue their objective for the benefit of residents and islanders alike.

  6. John Hicks Reply

    As an ex Islander, now living on the mainland, I have to say that I am horrified that the Steamship Company can behave in this despicable way. The Company was originally brought to life by the Islanders for the Islanders, but now it appears it is a mainland run company being run by the mainland for a few mainland people and to hell with the islands and islanders. A helicopter service running to and from Penzance is obviously the right place. The original helicopter used to run to and from Landsend but because of the constant delay and cancellations due to fog on the peninsular the operations were moved to Penzance, close to transport infrastructure and to holiday accommodation for the many people who wished to travel to and from the Islands with a stop over on the way there or back.
    For the Steamship Company to play a very underhanded trick like this is beneath contempt. They should be ashamed of themselves. By starting up a helicopter service from Landsend, just to try and prevent another company from reinstating a service from Penzance, the company is actually doing more harm than good to the future of the Islands.
    I hope and pray that the Penzance Helicopter Company is able to continue with their plans at Penzance as I do believe that they will very quickly see off the Steamship’s helicopter service as the price will be more attractive to fly from PZ rather than LE.

    I support the helicopter service from Penzance.

  7. Sandie Tilsley Reply

    I am a Scillonian living in Penzance and I have elderly parents that live on St Mary’s. The islanders deserve a helicopter service from Penzance for medical and social reasons. Not the inconvenience of a foggy base at Land s end.This must go ahead for the convenience of the elderly and medical needs of the residents of Scilly.

  8. Maggie Tucker Reply

    Currently we travel by the ISSSCo.or we don’t travel at all. This is sometimes reflected in their treatment of their passengers which can on occasion leave a great deal to be desired.
    Competition breeds convenience for the passengers, courtesy and reliability. We look forward to an alternative travel option.

  9. Will Evans Reply

    I still support a helicopter service from Penzance rather than from Land’s End. History is greater teacher and tells us this is the best place to operate from.

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