Plans for a new helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly have been announced today.
In a statement released this morning, Robert Dorrien-Smith commented.
"This project is the keystone to the reintroduction of a scheduled helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly. Since the demise of the previous helicopter service in 2012, I have heard repeated calls for the reinstatement of this vital transport link to the islands."
"The primary aim of the reinstated helicopter service is to re-establish a multi-modal, weather resilient transport system to the Isles of Scilly, complementing existing air and sea links and kick-starting the modernisation of transport links to the islands."
"This is a hugely exciting time, but we still have a very long way to go before a scheduled helicopter service can be re-introduced."
MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Derek Thomas told Will on air during The Morning Show.
“We can be fairly confident that we’ll have a service that will provide for all the people on all the islands but also here in Penzance. There is a real opportunity here to improve people’s livelihood, access to the islands and regenerate parts of Penzance that badly need some attention.”
“What I’m trying to do through all the work I’m trying to in West Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly is create confidence that we’re open for business, we want people in invest here and run their businesses here and make good money here.”
Derek also went onto to say, “also as a Constituency MP I’ve heard the messages from people on the islands who if you’ve got mobility issues or if you want to get to, you want confidence you can get to any medical appointments on the mainland that people want to know there’s a choice and that it’s more likely you can get off the islands onto to the mainland”.
Will was also joined on the morning by Liberal Democrat party member Andrew George who has been campaigning for the service to be resurrected since BIH Helicopters ceased operations in 2012 and commented.
"This is very good news and I'm pleased that all of the spade work has paid off. My congratulations to Robert Dorrien-Smith. I look forward to seeing how the project progresses before we see the first services in 20 months time".
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group were asked to comment and Chief Executive Rob Goldsmith added in a statement.
"There have been several initiatives to reinstate a scheduled helicopter service to the islands since their previous withdrawal in 2012. We will have to wait to see how this latest project develops and will be interested to learn more about it when specific details emerge. “
“The Steamship Group has invested more than £15 million in upgrades to Scilly's transport system over the last 7 years and remains fully committed to a programme of further enhancements to its air, sea and freight services for the benefit of island residents and their visitors."
There will be public consultation events in both Penzance at the Acorn Theatre on Thursday 8th September between 14:00 and 20:00 and on St Mary’s at the Wesleyan Chapel Council Chambers on Friday 16th September between 12:30 and 15:00 with comprehensive details.
In the meantime if you wish to learn more please go to www.penzanceheliport.co.uk.
You can hear Will in conversation with Robert Dorrien-Smith, MP for West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Derek Thomas and Liberal Democrat Party Member Andrew George below.