Another study is underway to explore the economic benefits of re-establishing air services between Skye and the central belt.
The idea of a regular flight service to and from Ashaig has been discussed and debated for years, and in more recent times the issue has been championed by a campaign led by local business chiefs.
Now Highlands and Islands Enterprise has commissioned ekosgen consultancy to carry out the study, which will kick off with a workshop in Broadford this Wednesday (16th September). Representatives from the Fly Skye campaign will attend the workshop along with public bodies such as Highland Council, Creative Scotland and HITRANS, and a small number of local business representatives.
The project follows the 2013 Skye Air Services Feasibility Study which recommended further work to explore the wider economic and social benefits of re-introducing air services.
A key part of the study will be consultation with a wide range of local businesses and community organisations.
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 the communities they serve, creating a sense of connectedness, providing life-line services and supporting economic growth.
“Skye is served by the road bridge and by ferry services but it is over two hours from the nearest airport and at least a five hour drvie to the central belt. We need to be clear about the full extent of the benefits of reintroducing a regular air service for the island and surrounding area as this will help inform the business case to re-establish the service.”
The existing air strip in Ashaig 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.