St Mary’s and Land’s End Airports
The St Mary’s Airport and Land’s End Airport is the islands’ only year round transport gateway. This vital air link between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland of Cornwall is to be refurbished.
The airport on St Mary’s, owned and operated by the Council of the Isles of Scilly, is in need of significant improvement to ensure that this crucial gateway to the islands remains open and is protected into the future. The project includes resurfacing the existing hard surfaced main runway, hardening grass stripped elements of a second runway, upgrading navigational aids/systems, Air Traffic Control and approach lighting as well as improving the passenger terminal building.
The islands’ community and visitors rely on fixed wing flights as the only form of winter transport. The airport at Land’s End, owned by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company (IOSSCo), requires improvements to prevent waterlogging of the grass runways which sometimes renders them unusable during winter. This meant for over 3 months in winter 2013 the airport was shut to flights. The project looks to address these issues by hardening the runways and laying a bitumen surface.
Supporting the long term sustainability of air links between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland, the project will indirectly help to secure employment on the islands, the tourism economy on which the islands depend heavily and accessibility for the island community to healthcare, further and higher education, social and community services.