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Penzance heliport

Old 29th Jun 2011, 13:10
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Penzance heliport

With the projected move of helicopter operations from Penzance to nearby St.Erth, seemingly to help pay for the introduction of replacement helicopters, I wonder what types might be potentially suitable for the Isles of Scilly route. The S-61 has been around for many moons and won't continue indefinitely but the chopper route is important to the Isles - and to tourists.

My son and his wife endured a very rough crossing on the Scillonian to St. Marys last year and an even worse return trip and hence opted for the convenince (and expense) of the helicopter service from Penzance to Tresco and back this year.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 15:48
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I guess the only real contenders would be the S-92 and the Super Puma. BIH did evaluate the civil EH101 some years back and liked it, but the type certification has lapsed since.
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 17:27
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http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk:8181...2746&DB=8&DT=4

There we go....
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Old 12th Jul 2011, 06:30
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I understood that the sale of the Penzance site was to finance helicopters for the North Sea oil platform operation. I wouldn't expect any change on the IOS services soon!
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 17:41
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New heliport?

Planning application for new heliport now lodged!
Penzance Heliport Ltd - Proposal information
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 20:10
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Notice it mentions Sunday ops, which I thought were a no-no in the IoS (emergencies aside)?
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 20:51
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New Penzance heliport planning application approved, with services planned to start in 2018
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Old 4th Feb 2017, 08:43
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Just had a look at their FAQ page where they state the anticipated return fare will be about 220 return but that does include hold luggage..

For a family of 4 going on hols it would be cheaper to get a season ticket on ryanair ..I wish them well but eye watering prices
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Old 4th Feb 2017, 09:18
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At that sort of money you might be able to hire your own charter - we did that once to move 13 people to Alderney................
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Old 5th Feb 2017, 02:59
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A few factors make for ISC operations being expensive:

1. For tourists it is a summer operation only, during the winter the operators only clientele might be the islanders on their day trips, or similar, to the mainland and might only justify one or two flight operations per day, up to six days per week ... And there are/will be two dedicated operators competing for this poor winter trade.

2. Even during the summer midweek trade is lacking and ISC dedicated aircraft, crews, ground staff, indeed LEQ & PZE airfields, won't be fully utilised. In the days when Brymon operated ISC routes they would operate an additional DHC6 just for the summer whilst during the summer midweeks they might only operate one ISC rotation per day whilst on Sunday's ISC was closed except if they had been fogged out on the Saturday, but, for Brymon, no problem because their DHC6's would also operate such routes as LGW, EXT, JER, GCI, ORK, MXN, BES, BHX & EMA to occupy the remainder of their days.

3. About the only busy, perhaps profitable, day would be Saturdays, Brymon would have 2 or more DHC6's dedicated all day to ISC with routes from/to PLH, NQY, EXT and BRS but even then ISC is subject to sea fog and with so little land available for the sun to heat to lift the fog the sea approaches would often remain fogged out all day ... It's a tad difficult to achieve an RVR (Runway Visual Range) in excess of 1,500m with a runway length of only 694m!

So it's not as if another BN2/DH6 operator could even come in just for summer Saturdays thus it's likely to remain the closed shop with associated fares that it is indefinitely.
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Old 5th Feb 2017, 07:56
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When ever I heard the flights during June/July/sept/Oct they were very well patronised very rarely
less than 20 pax per flight and even in winter operated about 5 a day
Tourist season starts in April and runs through to October because of the mild climate
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Old 5th Feb 2017, 10:10
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It's a tad difficult to achieve an RVR (Runway Visual Range) in excess of 1,500m with a runway length of only 694m!
A few years ago I was at ISC when the sea fog came in. The DHC6s and BN2 cancelled their departures. ATC told me their minimum visibility for take off was 3km. At the time it was varying between 600m and 1000m. All these figures were met visibility not RVRs.

The S-61 was able to continue operating in that visibility.
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Old 5th Feb 2017, 10:41
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To add to that the helicopters flew IFR whereas the BN-2 flew VFR as many times the S-61s
were in cloud not long after airborne from Penzance
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Old 5th Feb 2017, 11:05
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There was talk of operations going 7 days a week for fixed wing


the chopper service was kept going during the winter months by subsidised travel, residents on the islands had/have access to heavily subsidised fares to bring them over the hospital appointments in Penzance and Truro etc




cs
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Old 5th Feb 2017, 16:35
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A Sunday service to the islands might well operate operate only in to Tresco and this helicopter facility was extremely popular with the well heeled clientele that frequent this corner of Scilly.

Mention of medical flights reminds me that Scillonians only pay 5 for their return flight if they are heading to an appointment on the mainland but have to get from Lands End to the appropriate hospital at Penzance, or Truro under their own steam.

Skybus have four Twin Otters and I think four Islanders. The islands are keen to get tourist figures back up to the levels enjoyed in S-61 times and I wish them well. Scilly is a splendid place to holiday but is far from cheap !
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 00:04
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A Sunday service to the islands might well operate operate only in to Tresco
So a new PZE heliport, ATC, fire cover, ground staff etc. would be open and paid on a Sunday for literally one or two choppers to/from Tresco? ... It's not being exactly run as a commercial business is it?

The old heliport had a 373m runway, shame they can't get up to something like a 700m runway to allow some BN2/DHC6's and some GA in, make it a commercial airport rather than a helicopter club!
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 01:54
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The proposed new site is next partly the old site.

There's no way on the planet they could get a 700m runway in there. GA and commercial fixed wing is very well served from LEQ

My understanding of Sunday ops is that skybus we're looking to operate fixed wing to the islands on sundays ex LEQ and NQY


cs
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 10:43
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GA and commercial fixed wing is very well served from LEQ
Except that the owner/operator of LEQ won't allow any fixed or rotary wing competition on the ISC route(s) to utilise it and vice-versa the heliport owner/operator.

That's why the buggers can get away with charging GBP110..00 each way for a puddle jump!
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 12:04
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Originally Posted by Harry Wayfarers View Post
Except that the owner/operator of LEQ won't allow any fixed or rotary wing competition on the ISC route(s) to utilise it and vice-versa the heliport owner/operator.

That's why the buggers can get away with charging GBP110..00 each way for a puddle jump!
I seem to remember a plan to operate rotary ex LEQ but planning permission was denied based on local resident objections ?


regardless of that, is there another operator wanting to step up and offer fixed wing operations to the isles ?


what the route needs is for skybus to offer codeshares and interlining to open the islands up to customers far and wide without the need for separate tickets and the risks that involves. Currently speaking you can get from anywhere in the world on an EK, BA, VS code as far as NQY and if you want to reach ISC you have to take on the onward risk yourself or build in an overnight stay in NQY.


Codeshares and interlining would open the islands up to the world






cs
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 20:06
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is there another operator wanting to step up and offer fixed wing operations to the isles ?
As I made mention of in a previous post it's a summer only operation with one optimum day per week of Saturday. It would take a local airline with an appropriate aircraft type but long gone are the days of Brymon operating BN2/DHC6's and FlyBE (JEA) and their DHC6's..

Even if a local entrepreneur was to buy up a BN2, or whatever, could perhaps make a living out of it during the summer but what the hell would they do with it during the winter!

what the route needs is for skybus to offer codeshares and interlining to open the islands up to customers far and wide without the need for separate tickets and the risks that involves. Currently speaking you can get from anywhere in the world on an EK, BA, VS code as far as NQY and if you want to reach ISC you have to take on the onward risk yourself or build in an overnight stay in NQY.
In the old Brymon days they were offering LHR, LGW, BRS and the likes to/from ISC, at one point they were part of BCal Commuter Services so I believe the Bcal network served ISC, then of course they got taken over by BA and probably for a period, until they got rid of the DHC6's, ISC was available on the BA network.

But, right now, Skybus have the monopoly on the route, they don't need to share it or offer interline partners a percentage of it, perhaps that may change in the future ...

But Skybus did own/operate LEQ and I understand that they told the PZE helicopters to "Pze off, you're not operating from our airport", I'm not sure about the owner/operator of LEQ now but I'm presuming that it remains a closed shop.
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