Helicopters will once again connect Penzance and the Isles of Scilly after Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee unanimously backed a new Penzance Heliport.

AW139 helicopters will operate from the new heliport at Penzance to the islands of St Mary’s and Tresco.

Cornwall Council planning officers had recommended Councillors grant planning consent, saying the project will have “significant social and economic benefits” for the Isles of Scilly and West Cornwall. Councillors voted unanimously in support of the project.

Robert Dorrien-Smith from Penzance Heliport said: “We hope today’s decision marks the start of a new era for transport to the Isles of Scilly; an era of improved resilience, of increased capacity, of improved accessibility, of genuine competition, and a new era of honest cooperation for the good of the islands.

“We want to thank everyone who has supported us over the past two years. Today’s result is testament to the overwhelming public support for this project, and to the hard work, dedication and perseverance of so many people.

“To everybody who has signed the petition, cast their vote in the independent survey, submitted comments to Cornwall Council, or simply told us of their support for this project – thank you.

“We now look forward to moving ahead with this vital project which will make the Isles of Scilly a better place to live, visit and work.”

The majority of flights will operate to St Mary’s and the service will also reinstate a direct connection to the island of Tresco.

Flights will operate 7 days per week, but the Penzance Heliport team has offered to reduce its proposed Sunday flying schedule by half, to a maximum of 4 return flights, to minimise the impact on local residents.

The service will operate using the AW139 helicopter, with seating for 15 passengers and a 20 kg luggage allowance. The flight to the islands will take just 15 minutes.

The helicopter service will be operated by Sloane Helicopters.