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VIDEO: Helicopters Set To Return To Penzance

VIDEO: Helicopters Set To Return To Penzance

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:26am 25th August 2016. (Updated at 10:09am 25th August 2016)

The helicopter link between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly is set to be restored.

Mulitmillion pound plans have been revealed for a new service, four years after British International Helicopters closed the route.

The scheduled service would run seven days a week, with a reduced timetable on Sundays.

The 15-seat choppers would ferry people across to the islands on 15 minute journeys, departing roughly every 45 minutes.

Around 25 new jobs are expected to be created by the scheme, which could be up and running within two years.

Scilly Chopper

On their website the people behind the proposed new service said: "Since the helicopter service stopped, there has been a decline in visitor and air passenger numbers to the Isles of Scilly which has impacted both west Cornwall and the islands’ local economies.

"Residents, visitors and businesses have all been affected by the loss of the service and there have been calls for its reinstatement ever since.

"For many years the helicopters, the fixed-wing planes and the ferry worked in harmony – the various services complemented each other and provided a resilient transport system. 

"The new service hopes to recreate this situation and bring benefits to all the communities that it will serve through providing greater travel choice and flexibility."

penzance heliport

The proposed site is on Jelbert Way, just behind the site of the previous heliport, which has now become a supermarket.

Supporters say it has been selected to ensure the aircraft do not fly over any residential properties.

They are hoping to receive the necessary permissions to move ahead with the scheme next year, with the first flights departing in 2018.

proposed scilly helicopter base

The old service closed after almost 50 years connecting the mainland to the islands.

Robert Dorrien-Smith, the owner of Tresco Island and one of the investors 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.
 
"Since the Penzance to Isles of Scilly helicopter service ceased we have received continuous requests for its return.

"The helicopters, thanks to lower level flying, can operate in poorer visibility, and therefore it will not only provide greater transport options, it will also provide better access and flexibility for those visiting, working and living on the islands."

scilly helicopter
 
Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives and the Isles of Scilly, said: "After months of very careful planning and consideration we now have a genuine commitment and proposal to reinstate the helicopter service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.

"I am in full support because this investment will be a significant boost for our economy, both in west Cornwall and on Scilly, and help to address many of the concerns that people on the islands have regarding transport, particularly during winter months."
 
A spokesperson for the Duchy of Cornwall, said: "The Duchy of Cornwall welcomes investment to support and enhance transport to and from The Isles of Scilly. The Duchy is always keen to see access improved for visitors and those involved in the islands' growing businesses."
 
Local Penzance residents and businesses are invited to view and discuss plans with the developer, Tresco Estate, and the project consultants, WYG, between 2pm and 8pm on Thursday, 8th September at the Acorn Theatre, Parade Street, Penzance. There will also be a public exhibition for islanders to find out more about the helicopter service on Friday 16th September, 12.30pm - 3pm at The Old Weslyan Chapel, St Mary's.

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