ITV 4 Jan. You can view Rob Goldsmith, Chief Exec of IOSSCo making his case against the Heliport application on ITV here. He states that IOSSCO does not have a monopoly and that anybody is free to join the market. He mentions it is hard to make any money in this market. He expresses his concerns about two weak unprofitable operators not being desirable from anybody’s point of view.
ITV news item here .
Comment. The reality is of course that IOSSCo does have a complete monopoly at present. Other transport providers can compete but the ‘barriers to entry' are substantial – for an air service you need a local airfield.
Skybus and BIH ran in parallel for over 20 years - the same is possible in the future with a new helicopter operator. A new standalone helicopter operation would be a risky venture but it is a more viable operation when directly linked to Tresco Estates who stand to benefit substantially from a new helicopter service.
The helicopter service historically moved more people to/from St Mary's than to/from Tresco so all islanders and visitors benefit from a new helicopter service - not just Tresco. With tourism in SW England at record levels there is scope to substantially grow visitor numbers back to pre 2008 levels. The introduction of a helicopter service does not have to be a zero sum game with a 'fight to the death' over shares of a fixed visitor market - there is scope grow Scilly's visitor numbers to pre 2008 levels (250,000+) and beyond (an increase of ~40,000 on current levels). Transport constraints currently limit the IOS visitor market.