Business case on Air Services discussed at Skye Committee
Members of Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee have received an executive summary and presentation of a report which assesses the business case for developing air services to Skye.
The Skye Air Services Business Case 2016 Report was commissioned through HITRANS (Regional Transport Partnership) as a collaborative study involving Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The report sets out a broad assessment of the wider socio-economic benefits of reintroducing scheduled air services to Skye. There are estimated to be significant financial benefits over 30 years totalling in the region of £36m to £46m, depending on the aircraft capacity introduced. The benefit:cost ratio is estimated to be around 2:21 which means that for every £1 spent in investment, there would be £2.21 of benefit to the area.
The Highland Council in partnership with HITRANS and HIE and are keen to enter dialogue with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government to establish how the proposed development strategy for the airport may be progressed.
If the project were to be taken forward, a new airport on Skye could open in around two years.
Chair of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee, Cllr Drew Millar said:
“This is a very exciting report. The reintroduction of scheduled flights to Skye would be an enormous boost to our local economy and the cost benefit analysis clearly proves how valuable this would be. I would like to thank Council officers and partners in HITRANS and HIE for preparing this business case and moving things considerably forward.”
Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson added: “The importance of regional airports, including Skye, was raised just last week by Cllr Allan Henderson at the meeting of the Islands Transport Forum, which I understand was a very positive meeting.
“Good transport links, including regional air connectivity, are vital to the economic success of communities in the Highlands and Islands. People want to come and visit our beautiful region and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to access all that we have to offer."