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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Council Leader Requests Meeting on Future of Wick Airport

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The Leader of The Highland Council has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, raising her deepest concerns over Eastern Airways decision to withdraw their Wick – Aberdeen Service.

The decision by Eastern Airways follows Loganair’s earlier decision to withdraw its Wick-Edinburgh route, which now leaves Wick John O’Groats Airport with no commercial services operating.

Council Leader, Margaret Davidson said (pictured):

“This is a deeply disappointing decision and one which further demonstrates the need for an ambitious new approach to protecting our vital regional aviation links.

“I support the business case that has been presented to Transport Scotland for a Public Service Obligation (PSO) from Wick which I have discussed previously with Mr Matheson.

“In my letter sent yesterday, I have requested a meeting so we discuss how the business case for a PSO can be moved forward as quickly as possible and what other measures could be put in place to support Wick John O’Groats Airport.”

Caithness Councillors hope the Cabinet Secretary gives the concerns raised his immediate attention.

Chair of the Caithness Committee, Councillor Matthew Reiss said:

“No ifs, no buts.

“If Dundee airport has a PSO, we need one to secure the future of Wick airport too.

“When the Transport Minister met with the local Chamber of Commerce last August the risks to Wick were unambiguously spelled out to him.

“The Chamber have done a power of work outlining a possible solution and my fellow councillors and I will continue to raise the future of the airport as a priority with our MSP and the Minister.”

The Caithness Civic Leader, Cllr Willie Mackay added:

“Having regular and reliable air links is going to be crucial when it comes to driving forward our economy and I believe it will put us in a better position to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

“I am impressed with the excellent work done to date to raise the issue.

“There is no doubt, a very strong case has been put forward for our airport to receive the necessary subsidies to help safeguard its future.”

Wick Councillor Nicola Sinclair added:

“I would like to reassure people that we’re very much on the case and are closely collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce and our MSP and will continue to do all we can to protect the airport.”

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