West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has welcomed the announcement that two local airports have been selected to bid for up to £8 million each to offset the effects of the pandemic.
Land’s End Airport, at St Just, and St Mary’s Airport on the Isles of Scilly are two of just six airports across the whole of the South West which have been chosen to benefit from the Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
The scheme will help the two airports cover losses on costs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including airfield operations, contracted services such as airfield and runway maintenance, and business rate bills.
Mr Thomas said that the inclusion of the two airports in the scheme was recognition of the vital lifeline service that they provided between Scilly and the mainland.
“It is excellent news that Land’s End and St Mary’s are able to bid for this grant support,” said Mr Thomas.
“This announcement will be a great boost for Scilly residents who need to know that the link provided by these two airports is secure and available to them throughout the year.
“The scheme will also provide certainty for the airport operators that they can plan for the future and a time when they can welcome back visitors, protecting jobs and reinvigorating the local economy both on Scilly and in West Cornwall.”
Grant Shapps said: “A thriving aviation industry has been central to the success of this country and while we recognise the testing conditions airports are currently facing as a result of the pandemic, I believe that the sector will be ready to bounce back once restrictions are lifted.”
The financial support scheme, which follows the Government’s extension of the Job Retention Scheme, is open for applications until 21 February 2021. Other South West airports included in the scheme are Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter and Newquay.