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Runway hardening at Land’s End Airport to go ahead this July


In a letter from the Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, Robert Goldsmith, it has been announced that Land's End Airport will have a hard runway by Monday 21st July 2014, with work beginning on Friday 4th July. Read the full contents of the letter below, including Skybus' comprehensive plan to minimise any adverse impact on passengers.

I am delighted to inform you that the £2.6 million project to harden the grass runways at Land’s End Airport will get underway next month now that £1.3 million of support from the European Regional Development Fund has been confirmed. The Steamship Group has decided that it will press ahead with the work now before the summer peak season rather than wait until the autumn and risk bad weather affecting the project or causing travel disruption.
As you will be aware, Land’s End Airport has suffered prolonged closures during the extreme weather of last two severe winters due to water logging of its grass runways.
The hardened runways and associated drainage improvements will address this problem and there will be further benefits from the investment in new airfield lighting and approach aids. This long-awaited project, together with significant improvements to St Mary’s Airport, will therefore greatly improve the year-round resilience of the air links between mainland and the Isles of Scilly. We believe these strategically important works will create a significant long term boost to air travel to and from the Isles of Scilly and for its residents and visitors alike. 
Whilst the majority of the works will be completed without any impact on flights, there will be a short period when Land’s End Airport will have to close from Friday 4th July to Sunday 20th July inclusive. Normal services are planned to resume from Monday 21st July. All Skybus flights scheduled to operate to/from Land’s End Airport during that time will be routed instead through Newquay Cornwall Airport with free transportation being offered  to/from Land’s End or Penzance.
We realise that it is vitally important to do everything we can to minimise any adverse impact of the closure period on the affected flying passengers and indirectly on our tourism sector partners across the Isles of Scilly.
Therefore, all affected passengers are being informed at the earliest opportunity and offered alternative travel arrangements that will minimise inconvenience. This is a complex task and some passengers will have both legs of their trip affected by the brief closure period and others only their outward or return journey. All passengers have been rebooked automatically onto new Newquay flights that will mirror their original flight times as closely as possible. Each traveller is being sent an explanatory letter, replacement tickets and a detailed set of information in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ – enclosed below) that clarify the arrangements and alternative travel options if the rebooked flights are unsatisfactory. The latest updates and the FAQs will also be available on the Isles of Scilly Travel website (www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk).
Skybus has set up a dedicated enquiries number (01736 785249) but will be systematically calling each traveller during the week ahead (in date of departure order) to confirm the new travel arrangements, answer any questions or discuss alternatives as appropriate. Whenever possible we hope that passengers will wait until we call them so that we can give priority to those with the shortest notice of any changes to their travel arrangements.
We realise that there will never be an ideal time to undertake the upgrade works at Land’s End Airport but we will be making every possible effort to avoid any unnecessary inconvenience for Skybus passengers.    
Yours faithfully

Rob Goldsmith

Chief Executive
Isles of Scilly Steamship Group

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