Councillors today (Oct 3) gave their backing to plans to resume scheduled air services from Skye.
A draft business case to bring Broadford airport back into use was approved by a meeting of the Isle of Skye and Raasay committee and there is now speculation that flights could resume in around two years.
One of the FlySkye campaigners, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Principal, Professor Boyd Robertson, expressed satisfaction with the thrust of the Report. “The case for the re-introduction of an air service has been enhanced by new and additional information about the wider socio-economic benefits that would ensue and by the finding that the costs of re-opening Broadford Airstrip can be reduced by the adoption of Instrument Approach Procedures based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology.
The case for the restoration of commercial flights to, and from, Skye is considerably strengthened by the Benefit Cost Ratio analysis which in one scenario could be as high as 2.2.”
A socio-economic study by Ekosgen commissioned by HIE earlier this year indicated a substantial desire and market for flights to the island and highlighted potential wider benefits for Lochalsh and Wester Ross.
Following approval the document will go to Transport Scotland for their views. However, even if it is given the go ahead at that stage Highland Council have made it clear that Scottish Government funding will be needed to see the air service scheme become a reality.
Another member of the FlySkye group, Scottish Food Commission Chair, Shirley Spear, commented “ I am encouraged by the tenor and findings of this report and of the previous Ekosgen report and hope that the Project Group comprising the three public agencies will soon be in a position to present the outcomes to Transport Scotland and to the Minister for Transport, Humza Yousuf.”
For further details about the document studied by councillors and its implications for Skye follow the link here