George “more confident” Scillies helicopter service will return, after meeting in Penzance
West Cornwall MP, Andrew George and Graham Cole, Chairman of AgustaWestland, have jointly expressed their optimism over a potential helicopter service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.
Mr George organised a private meeting in Penzance last weekend at which Mr Cole and executives from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) presented the findings of a draft confidential report prepared by PWC to local stakeholders. Following the analysis, Mr Cole resolved to proceed to the next stage, which will be to negotiate firm implementation plans with potential operators and public and private sector stakeholders.
Mr George and Mr Cole have been working closely together on the project since they first met last year. Last month Mr George also welcomed Mr Cole to speak at a CBI lunch in Penzance which Mr George had organised.
Mr George said, “When I first asked AgustaWestland last year to come to help with plans to re-establish the helicopter service I was encouraged by their willingness to engage and was pleased that they responded so positively. Following our meeting I am more confident. My optimism that the service can be established is increasing.
“If anyone has anything constructive to contribute to the project they should first contact myself or Graham Cole. I should of course emphasise that most of this work, the PWC draft report and our discussions are necessarily confidential and commercially sensitive. Claims apparently made elsewhere that the PWC report has been shared more widely and without authorisation are unhelpful and could potentially jeopardise the whole project. Mr Cole and I have offered to make private presentations of the confidential PWC report when it is finalised to public and private stakeholders – including the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLaughlin.”