HELICOPTER BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE 'LIKELY TO BE 20KG'
The luggage allowance for the proposed new helicopter service has been confirmed amid concern from some locals and visitors.
There was speculation from the appearance of the new aircraft that it would not have room for much baggage.
However, Tresco Estate Marketing Manager Tom Matthews said that the anticipated allowance will be up to 20kg per passenger.
The AW-139 helicopter carries 15 passengers and has a baggage compartment accessible from inside and outside the cabin.
The capacity is 120 cubic feet, which provides 8cubic feet or 0.23 cubic metres for each passenger.
This is comparable to a Twin Otter aircraft, which has 126 cubic feet of luggage space, although it can carry up to 19 passengers so there is marginally less luggage room per passenger if the aircraft is full.
Suitcase sizes have become more standardised in recent years to meet the criteria of leading airlines, such as British Airways and Easy Jet who insist no individual item is larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm and weighs 20-23kg to qualify as cabin luggage.
Larger items qualify as checked baggage and are charged per kg over and above the standard allowance.
Modern suitcases tend to be no larger than 78cm x 50cm x 32cm which is 4.41 cubic feet, or 0.12 cubic metres, so that would still leave almost as much room again for another piece of luggage per passenger travelling to the Isles of Scilly by Skybus or helicopter.
Robert Dorrien-Smith said: “Speed and reliability of air travel is important to people, but so is the amount of luggage they can bring with them. The AW139 works on so many levels.
“We hope the increased baggage allowance of an estimated 20kg per passenger will be welcomed and make life a little easier for everyone, whether visitors coming on holiday and packing for all weather or locals travelling to the mainland perhaps with gifts for friends and family.
“Of course at the moment we’re concentrating on gaining planning permission for the new heliport – with the application going in any day now – so the luggage allowance isn’t set in stone, but we hope this will help quell any concerns people might have.”