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Penzance Heliport Update

The planning application for the replacement Penzance Heliport has now been submitted to Cornwall Council.

Update: December 2016

The Cornwall Council planning consultation period has now come to an end.

The Council received over 2,600 messages of support for the replacement heliport (compared to just 20 objections). They have confirmed this has broken all previous records for a public consultation response.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who took the time to contact the Council in support of the application.

We are hopeful the application will be decided at the Cornwall Council Strategic Planning meeting in February 2017 and will keep you informed when we have any further information.

The Proposal

Penzance Heliport Ltd is planning to reinstate the popular scheduled helicopter service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.

The helicopter service will re-establish a multi-modal, weather resilient transport system to the islands. The flights will serve all the islands through St Mary’s Airport and will also restore a direct link to Tresco.

It is expected there will be a daily service operating year-round with a reduced service on Sundays. Journey time will be approximately 15 minutes from take-off to landing.

The service will be operated using the AW139 15-seater helicopter.  This is the market-leading intermediate twin-engine helicopter and is considered the benchmark for safety, performance and reliability all over the world. The AW139 is equipped with state of the art navigation systems. It has far superior performance levels and is faster and quieter compared with the previous S61 helicopters that used to service the route.

To operate the service, we propose to build a new heliport at Jelbert Way, Penzance near to the site of the former heliport on Eastern Green.

You can find out more about the proposal on the Penzance Heliport website.


The Benefits

There are a huge number of benefits to reinstating the helicopter link. We've outlined some of them below, but you might also like to take a look at our report on the benefits of the service.

Enhancing Weather Resilience: The reinstatement of the helicopter will re-establish a multi-modal, weather resilient transport system for the Isles of Scilly. Due to the flight characteristics of the aircraft and the location of the proposed heliport site (at near sea level) this service will improve the weather resilience and reliability of transport links to the islands.

Comfort and Reliability: The AW139 is the market-leading intermediate twin-engine helicopter – the benchmark for safety, performance, speed and comfort. These modern helicopters are quieter, more efficient and more comfortable than the helicopters historically used on this route. With a 20kg per passenger estimated baggage allowance and a flight time of just 15 minutes this service will enhance travel comfort and customer service.

Boosting the Islands' Economy: Reliable, weather-resilient transport links will help the islands regain visitors who stopped visiting when the last helicopter service ceased, as well as retain existing visitors and attract new ones. A reinstated helicopter service will also help extend the tourist season by providing a weather-resilient all year round transport link, making the islands more accessible and appealing to visitors out of season. This private investment will demonstrate business confidence in the islands and enhance infrastructure and access for local businesses, encouraging further investment.

Creating and Securing Jobs: A reinstated helicopter service would create around 30 permanent, year-round jobs in West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Significant numbers of jobs will also be created during the construction phase. By securing and enhancing the islands' tourist offering the service will also help protect existing jobs and create new ones in the islands’ vital tourist industry. There will also be a long-term, indirect impact on local employment for industries servicing the heliport and the wider Penzance tourist economy.

Making Island Life Easier: For islanders, reliable transport links are not a luxury; they are a lifeline. The helicopter will make the basics of life – from attending hospital appointments to seeing friends and family – easier, particularly during the winter months when there is no passenger sea link to the islands. Reliable, weather-resilient transport links will reduce the need for costly stopovers on the mainland for those attending medical appointments and will make business and social visits easier.

Boosting the West Cornwall Economy: The helicopter will bring a cohort of visitors with high disposable income to West Cornwall and its accommodation, shops, services and eateries. Anecdotal evidence from visitors and business owners suggests that those who used the helicopter service used local shops and eateries both before and after their flight. Shop owners have commented on the significant loss of trade since the demise of the helicopter in 2012. The £2 million investment in the heliport has the potential to generate over £5.6 million of activity in the local economy.

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