Cornwall

St Erth British International Helicopters plan dropped

British International Helicopter on Tresco. Pic: D.Sims
Image caption British International Helicopters already has maintenance operations at Newquay Airport

A Cornish helicopter travel firm has dropped a plan for a new base at St Erth near Penzance.

British International Helicopters (BIH), which flies to the Isles of Scilly, faced opposition from villagers worried about noise and pollution.

It is moving out of its current Penzance base in June 2012 after selling it to Sainsbury's.

BIH said villagers' concerns "remain unresolved" and it would use Newquay Airport until another base was found.

Opponents 'very pleased'

BIH, which has operated the service since 1964, already has its aircraft maintenance and Navy support contracts based at the airport.

Managing director Tony Jones said St Erth was "the most suitable available site in Cornwall for a new heliport".

He added: "It is also very important to British International to be a good neighbour within the community".

Airport managing director Al Titterington said: "We will work closely with BIH to ensure that the move to Newquay will be seamless and that their customers have as little inconvenience as possible".

David Everett of West Cornwall Green Party said: "I am very pleased.

"I have used the helicopters and I don't see what was wrong with the Penzance which was good for road and rail connections."

The Isles of Scilly are also served by a ferry from Penzance and planes from Land's End, Newquay, Exeter, Southampton and Bristol.

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