ISSG launches new Island Helicopters service
The first Island Helicopters flight landed at St Mary's Airport this morning.
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group went ahead with the launch, despite the Council suspending the service on Friday in order to ensure compliance with habitat regulations.
The first flight arrived just after 9.10am, around 50 minutes later than the scheduled time of 8.21am. It landed on the airport field rather than the apron due to the suspension.
Steamship Group Chairman Andrew May said he was feeling "excited" and "positive" and that it was "great to see the helicopter landing as planned".
He continued: "Of course it was disappointing at the 11th hour to have a challenge from the Isles of Scilly Council but we've worked through that and the way we've done it is that today's flights will be a charter. But the point is the helicopter is landing as planned - we're very excited about that - with the passengers, so the passengers who were going to arrive and depart will do so."
He said that he hopes to be able to run the advertised scheduled service from tomorrow, explaining: "We anticipate and very much hope that the Council's Stop Notice will be lifted my midday today. We believe that all that work has been done, in which case scheduled flights will continue tomorrow as planned."
Two flights arrived and departed this morning, with discussions still under way with the Council for more.
Andrew added: "It's been hard work, at times challenging, especially over this weekend, but most of all we think this is a great move for Scilly. It gives people choice and another way of getting here, increases capacity and it should increase resilience and reliability because the helicopter has an opportunity to fly alongside Skybus, which is doing great work with its GNSS Egnos. The helicopter will be able to complement that and together they'll have resilience and reliability."
Watch the first helicopter land below: