Skye air service campaigners to meet CAA

Campaigners hoping to restore scheduled air services to and from Skye are to meet with the Civil Aviation Authority this month.

Meanwhile, students tasked with investigating cost and design options for any revamped airstrip on Skye presented their first set of findings this week.

The group of UHI architectural technology students are examining the airstrip at Ashaig as part of a project related to their degree course. Campaigners hope that the students’ work can eventually strengthen the case for the restoration of flight services in and out of Ashaig.

Representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, transport body Hitrans, Highland councillors and campaigners from the FlySkye pressure group all attended Tuesday’s meeting at Sàbhal Mor Ostaig.

FlySkye’s Ian Blackford said the students’ work suggested the necessary buildings for a refurbished airport could be installed for around £800,000.

“They have done a cracking job, and it all helps to keep the campaign moving along,” Mr Blackford added.

Hitrans and HIE are due to meet with the Civil Aviation Authority at the end of this month to discuss the implications of any future Skye air link.

Skye has been without a scheduled air service since 1988.

Recent studies have suggested infrastructure upgrades of just over £2 million, along with annual subsidies of around £350,000, could deliver a flight service operated by a 19-seater Twin Otter plane.

The viability of this proposal is likely to rest with the CAA, who in the past have insisted that the current 770-metre runway at Ashaig is too short to accommodate commercial traffic.