New helicopter link with France

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The details were given to States Members who attended last Friday’s meeting of the Commission Amicale in St L? by their counterparts in the Conseil Général de la Manche.In a paper delivered on the theme of economic development, the Conseil say that helicopter flights will be available both ways from Granville’s Mont St Michel aerodrome on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The 18-minute flight will cost about £85 per person (return), with season tickets available.

Each helicopter flight will be able to carry four people.

The service is being run by the two French firms Normandie Helicoptères of Granville and ABC Helicoptères.A link between Paris Orly and Cherbourg has been in operation since March, and from Monday there has been a link from Cherbourg to Jersey as an extension.The service is run by Air Affaires Twin Jet, and the firm’s prime objective is to set up a direct flight between Jersey and Orly so as to make up for the service that BA will be supplying until 18 August.Twin Jet also hopes to reopen an air link between the Channel Islands and the C?tentin.

In partnership with the Maison de Jersey and local Normandy authorities, the firm is working on the preparation of attractive accommodation packages in Jersey.The air services from Maupertus airport, Cherbourg, have been run by a body called the Syndicat Mixte du C?tentin since 1 January.

This is a co-operative venture between Cherbourg and other local government authorities.

Its responsibilities will include any cash losses incurred by airline companies.The Conseil say that among their plans to upgrade the transport links will be a ‘huge modernisation’ and investment of the Granville-Mont St Michel aerodrome so as to enhance services.Referring to the various plans and initiatives covering road, sea and air links, they say: ‘All these undertakings are bound to help mutual exchanges between our Département and Jersey.

A lack of communication has, for a long time, hindered this exchange.

This is no longer the case.

All that remains to be done now is to further extend our relationship on the economic side.’ In his speech of welcome, the président of the Conseil Général, Jean-Franois Le Grand, said: ‘All you do proves of interest to us, and, equally, everything we endeavour cannot leave you indifferent.

We are geographically linked, and we are economically interfluent.’The senior member of Jersey’s delegation, Senator Jean Le Maistre, agreed that there were ‘huge’ benefits for Jersey from close co-operation with Normandy, and a similar enthusiasm on the part of Normandy’s regional government to engage with Jersey on projects of mutual benefit.’The French regional authorities are keen to engage with the Islandwithout reservation,’ he said.

‘They have a vision of their own future – do we want to share it and be part of it?’The role of the States, he said, was to have ‘an enabling capacity’ to assist business, sporting and cultural links to be fostered.At the meeting, as reported on Saturday, the Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache (who led the Jersey delegation), made a speech in which he said that Jersey would not tolerate any false reports of being soft on money laundering, tax evasion, or drug smuggling.The discussions at the meeting covered infrastructure and links between the Département de la Manche and Jersey, tourism, economic development and environmental issues.

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