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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Locals Fight BIH’s Relocation

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No helicopters. This declaration from the Land’s End Aerodrome Action Group (LEAAG) in response to British International Helicopters’ plans to offer service from there to the Isles of Scilly. Made up of local residents, LEAAG fears that adding helicopter service to the Land’s End Airport in Wales will increase noise pollution, worsen car traffic and alienate vacationers who pay to camp there.

"At the moment, our aerodrome only has small, fixed wing aircraft. [BIH’s] Sikorskys are about three times louder...Can you imagine helicopters flying over the Taj Mahal, very low and very loud?" said LEAAG Vice Chairman Jon Passingham.

BIH had been offering flights to the Isles of Scilly since 1964, using its Penzance heliport as a terminus. BIH hopes to cut fuel costs and reduce travel times by moving to Land’s End. The company also plans to sell its Penzance heliport. BBC News reported that BIH’s plan to immediately start offering service from Land’s End have been pushed back to 2010. Calls to BIH by Rotor & Wing went unanswered. LEAAG’s Passingham said that the company "has ignored us completely."

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