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Further delays for Land's End airport runway improvements

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 04, 2014

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WORK to resurface Land's End airport and to refurbish the terminal buildings at St Mary's has once again been put on hold.

The Council of the Isles of Scilly and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company have said they are awaiting evaluation reports from the European Commission before public funds can be released.

It is hoped that the work on the runway at Land's End will solve the problem of flights being cancelled because of waterlogging at the St Just airfield and travellers having to fly from Newquay.

Last winter, the airport was closed for 56 days and this winter, it has not been open since the start of the year – currently it is closed until Saturday when another inspection is due to take place.

Originally, after consultations last summer, it was hoped that the £1.8 million project to upgrade and resurface the runway at Land's End would take place in December.

But in January, after costs had risen, it was announced that the work had been put back to next month, with March 10 to 24 earmarked for the two-week slot when the work would take place.

However, as the project is funded through a combination of private and public funding, State Aid legislation requires specific approval before the public money can be legally spent.

A spokesman for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company said: "Until we know the European Commission's decision we can't say when the works will be undertaken but they will be timed to minimise disruption and avoid peak travel periods.

"We are not planning to close the airport for runway works for two weeks in March as originally planned because we are still awaiting the funding decision.

"Given the forecast of more rain in the coming days we have informed passengers that we will continue to operate via Newquay Cornwall airport until Saturday and are reviewing the situation daily."

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