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Ex-Scotia boss joins helicopter talks

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

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THE FORMER boss of a west Cornwall helicopter company is involved in talks to keep a service in the air, The Cornishman has learnt.

Terry Nelson was the Penzance-based chief executive of Scotia Helicopters, which was taken over by British International Helicopters (BIH) in 2000.

Although he wouldn't go into detail about his exact role, Mr Nelson confirmed he was using his expertise to help a helicopter service survive in west Cornwall.

He said: "I feel it is very sad that this has happened.

"When I left in 2000 it was a thriving business and is now almost 50 per cent of the business it was ten years ago. How can it go from that to what it is today?"

Mr Nelson refused to confirm if he was offering financial help as well as drawing on 25 years of personal knowledge of the Penzance-based flights. "I will do everything I can to help the islanders," he said.

BIH has announced that flights will stop for good on October 31 after a set of legal challenges delayed the sale of the heliport at Eastern Green to Sainsbury's.

From November 1, the helicopters currently in use on the service will be transferred to a hangar at Newquay airport where they will remain until they are sold.

With discussions into the future of flights continuing, and a legal challenge by former Isles of Scilly Steamship Company boss Charlie Cartwright still going ahead, the Government has leant its voice to a growing number hoping for a successful outcome.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "We understand that the operators of the ferry and plane services are considering what they can do to meet the demand for travel and that efforts are being made locally to explore whether other potential helicopter operators would be willing to provide services."

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