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Hope for New Helicopter Link to Islands

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7:33am 11th April 2013
(Updated 7:33am 11th April 2013)

Pirate FM has learnt an announcement on a new air link to the Isles of Scilly could be just weeks away.

It is after British International Helicopters stopped services from Penzance to St Mary's and Tresco, after a plan to save the route got bogged down in legal wrangling.

It had run for almost fifty years.

It has meant Skybus is the only air link to the islands. Pirate FM reported on a million pound upgrade to Land's End airport terminal earlier this week. But islanders say the grass runway can still mean flights are cancelled during bouts of bad weather.

Behind the scenes there have been ongoing negotiations to reintroduce a helicopter link to the islands.

Now Pirate FM understands a deal is close.

Local MP Andrew George said: "I kept saying to people that I would give it my best shot and all I can say is it's taking longer than anticipated but resurrecting a substantial investment into a commercial helicopter undertaking - you can imagine the complexity of re-establishing something is a great deal more challenging than anticipated.

"Everything that I believe needs to be in place is in place. It's just a question of whether it's possible to stitch all the elements together and get local community backing.

"All the bits of jigsaw are almost in place now and I'm hoping, in the coming weeks, an announcement will be made about future investment."

Carol Hicks from St Agnes says losing the helicopter route was a blow: "I think it was a feeling of shock. Was it going to be a problem getting off the islands and returning to the islands? Especially when you have fog when sometimes, as we all know, the Skybus was delayed."

7:33am 11th April 2013

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