Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross

Businesses and communities asked for views on Skye air service

Businesses and community organisations across Skye and surrounding areas are being asked for their feedback as part of a study into the economic benefits of re-establishing air services between Skye and the central belt.

Businesses and community organisations across Skye and surrounding areas are being asked for their feedback as part of a study into the economic benefits of re-establishing air services between Skye and the central belt.

An online survey has been set up by consultants, ekosgen, who have been commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to carry out the study.

The researchers are aiming to get the views of at least a hundred businesses, social enterprises and community groups on specific potential economic benefits of a service being reintroduced. They will also carry out in-depth telephone interviews with around twenty of them.

Stuart MacPherson of HIE, said: “Strong reliable transport links are of course crucial to a successful and competitive region. Air services from and to small rural airports can play a key role in supporting economic and community growth. We need to be clear about the full extent of the benefits of reintroducing a regular air service for the island and surrounding area and would urge all businesses, social enterprises and community groups to take part in the survey. Their feedback will help inform any future decisions about reintroducing a Skye air service.”

The research follows the Skye Air Services Feasibility Study in 2013 which recommended further work to explore the wider economic and social benefits of re-introducing air services.

The existing air strip in Ashaig, Broadford was opened in 1972 to serve as a gateway to the Island. Loganair operated a scheduled service from the airfield to Glasgow from 1972 to 1988 when the service was disbanded. In recent years, efforts to re-establish the air service have been gaining momentum.

The online survey will run throughout November and can be accessed via the HIE website at www.hie.co.uk/skye-air

 

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