Airport Landing Fees
On February 14th 2013, the Council of the Isles of Scilly Transport Committee approved increases to fees and charges for the airport to ensure that it is properly financed, managed and maintained in the future in accordance with is a 20-year asset replacement plan. The asset plan will ensure that the airport and the service it provides to visitors and islanders alike is properly financed, managed and maintained in the future.
To meet the operational costs of the airport and provide sufficient funds to ensure the long-term viability of the asset, the fee to the operator for landing each passenger will be increased by £1.50, with landing fees increased by £2 per tonne (an Islander plane weighs approx. 3 tonnes).
The Airport income and reserves have steadily decreased as passenger numbers have fallen over the last five years by 21%. During this period the fees and charges of the airport have not been sufficient to offset the loss of income and costs. Furthermore, insufficient funds are available to finance improvements to the airport, including essential work to replace the runways.
Although the Council is working to secure funding to replace the runways and improve the airport, there is no guarantee that grants would be available in the future to undertake such work again. The grant funding needed to improve the airport and runways is a significant capital subsidy. If the full £6m required for these works were borrowed over 20 years, this would result in a repayment totalling £9.1m. This repayment would mean that the Council would have to increase its revenue from landing fees by £460,000 per year.
Over the next 12 months the Council will be looking at saving money at the airport as well as refining the capital asset programme based on the numbers of passengers.
Chairman of the Transport Committee, Councillor Dudley Mumford, explains that "we regret the need to increase fees at the airport, but have had to make this difficult decision in recognition of the importance of creating a financially viable, fully functioning and safe airport and ensure that we secure the long-term viability of our air links to the mainland. The Council is engaging with aviation experts to review our costs and advise on any savings we can make and any additional income streams available".