Wick John O’Groats Airport set for major upgrade

The airfield at Wick John O’Groats Airport is set for a major upgrade this year, boosting safety and enabling the airport to handle future growth.

Almost £600,000 is to be spent this year refurbishing the airport apron where aircraft are parked, loaded and unloaded.

Work on the project is expected to start this summer.

The investment was confirmed following a Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) board meeting, held this week at the airport. The airport has also recently taken delivery of two new fire appliances, costing almost £700,000.

Meanwhile, new figures show Wick John O’Groats recorded a massive increase in passenger numbers last month thanks to a contract to service a major oil field in the West of Shetland basin.

Airport manager William Sutherland said: “We are grateful to Premier Oil, Aker Solutions and Far North Aviation during what has been an exceptionally busy time for Wick John O’Groats airport. January’s passenger numbers underline the airport’s importance as a hub for the energy sector and, more importantly, its ability to react rapidly and efficiently as a team to meet the fast changing needs of the energy sector.

“Ours is a flexible operation that can accommodate demand for short and long term contracts, as required. This flexibility and the personal service provided is a key selling point for the airport.”

HIAL managing director, Inglis Lyon, said: “Wick John O’Groats airport is of huge strategic importance to the HIAL group. The airport serves the business and tourism needs of Caithness and Sutherland but, as last month’s figures illustrate, it is also a particularly important gateway for the energy sector.

“Our investment this year underlines our commitment to grow the airport and consolidate its status as a hub for the oil, gas and renewables sector.”

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