View Full Version : Air trafffic increase at Wick

25-Apr-13, 09:50
MSP Rhoda Grant welcomes sizeable growth at airport

Highlands & Islands MSP Rhoda Grant has welcomed the sizeable growth in traffic at Wick John O’Groats Airport which is mainly as a result of the surge in oil-related helicopters.
The rise has fuelled hopes that the airport will build on its current contract with Chevron to clinch similar tie-ups with other operators in the offshore oil and gas and renewable industries.
The latest figures from airport operator HIAL show its 11 airports handled 103,616 passengers in March, an increase of 5,507, or 5.6%, on its March 2012 figure.
Passenger numbers were up at Sumburgh, Wick John O’Groats, Barra, Kirkwall and Benbecula, while numbers at Inverness were static. On the downside, numbers fell at Campbeltown, Islay, Stornoway, Tiree and Dundee.
Wick John O’Groats Airport’s total rose from 2,889 in March 2012 to 3,938 last month – an increase of 36.3%.
Inglis Lyon, managing director of HIAL said: "This winter has seen some particularly strong growth, with passenger numbers up during every month of the winter season. In large part, this is a result of the upturn in oil-related traffic at Wick John O’Groats and Sumburgh, a key sector for our business and one with real growth potential.
Trudy Morris, chair of Wick John O’Groats Airport Consultative Committee, said: The airport, alongside the agencies, and Andrew Bruce at Far North Aviation are continually looking at how they can bring more contracts to Wick John O’Groats, not just in the oil and gas industry but also the renewables to service the offshore wind farms. The airport is well placed to service both these industries”.
Rhoda Grant said “ During these difficult economic times, it is good news indeed to learn that there has been a sizeable growth in traffic at Wick John O’Groats, especially as it relates to the oil industry. As good, is the news that passenger numbers at four other HIAL sites across the Highlands & Islands have also increased. Credit must go to those working hard to bring the additional contracts and business to these areas. At times such as these we need people who can use creativity and innovation to build and grow local business and help the local economy into the bargain”.