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Scottish regional airports report steady growth

Kirkwall Airport (Image: HIAL)

Kirkwall Airport (Image: HIAL)

Airports owned by Highlands & Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) have seen a 3.5% growth in passenger numbers for the 2023/24 reporting period.

Of the 11 airports owned by HIAL t Inverness saw passenger numbers rise by 5.6% to 792,150 with Wick John O’Groats airport growing an impressive 22.2% to 11,224 passengers.

Campbeltown saw a 15% growth and the island airport at Islay with saw 7.9% bringing passenger numbers to to 7,734 and 29,919 respectively helped by increased connectivity.

Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Tiree also saw growth. It wasn’t all growth thiough with some airports showing a decrease including Barra, Benbecula and Dundee.

Paul Kelsall, HIAL’s Chief Executive Officer said “I’m encouraged that despite the challenging economic climate we have continued to build on the strong passenger figures of 2022/2023, which remain on track for a steady return to pre-pandemic levels. 

“We have invested to maintain our infrastructure and ensure the longevity of our airports for years to come. This includes a £5m project to upgrade the two runways at Islay and £9m in new energy efficient runway lighting at Inverness and Kirkwall airports. Additionally, £5.3m was invested in a Coastal Protection Project at Stornoway to protect the airport infrastructure and surrounding area from erosion.

“In 2023, we welcomed the introduction of flights connecting Dundee, Orkney & Shetland with London Heathrow providing our island communities with access to a key international hub.

“I look forward to working together with colleagues to delivering the high level of service that HIAL’s customers expect.”

Overall 1,476,547 passengers used HIAL Airports in the period, an increase of 49,371.

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