Scillies helicopter a step closer

Posted on: 19th January 2015

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Andrew George and AgustaWestland Chairman Graham Cole

 

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, led a delegation of senior executives from AgustaWestland and PricewaterhouseCoopers to meet Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, to seek Government support for the reinstatement of the Scillies helicopter service.  The delegation which included AgustaWestland Chairman Graham Cole, with whom Mr George has been working closely, shared a copy of the project’s business case, (prepared by PwC for AgustaWestland) with the Minister and Government officials.

Baroness Kramer welcomed the report and agreed that, following the meeting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and AgustaWestland executives will meet with Department for Transport officials to go through the report in detail to identify where there may be prospects for Government support within state aid rules.

Helicopter manufacturer, AgustaWestland, is determined to proceed with this project, subject to agreeing terms with a prospective operator.

Mr George said, “It’s great news for the Scillies and West Cornwall that the reinstatement of the helicopter service is a step closer.  The PwC report and business case is very encouraging. It confirms that there is a viable business opportunity for a Scillies helicopter service, operating from a Penzance heliport.  It also shows that a new helicopter link will be a significant boost both to the Islands and for the Penzance economy.

“The business case itself is based on assumptions that a one way journey would be competitively priced and commensurate with the ticket prices of BIH before it folded in 2012.  The service would have the lease of two brand new 16 seater AW189 helicopters which are currently being prepared in time for operation from early next year”.