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Air / Bus / Rail / Ferry Services News

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP to visit Gills Harbour
Scotland's Energy Minister Mr Fergus Ewing, MSP, has promised to pay a visit to Gills Harbour, on the shores of the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound.   The Minister made the pledge to harbour company chairman Mr Bill Mowat, prior to Mr Ewing providing a keynote speech to the annual Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference in Inverness on April 24th.  
HIAL Airports Record Busiest Ever YearThumbnail for article : HIAL Airports Record Busiest Ever Year
* Energy sector drives huge growth at Sumburgh and Wick John O’Groats * Extra 70,000 passengers across the group * Sumburgh is Scotland’s fastest growing airport * Inverness enjoys best performance for five years * But smaller airports affected by reduced capacity Scottish regional airport operator HIAL has recorded its busiest ever year, attracting an extra 70,000 passengers over the past 12 months, according to latest figures.   HIAL’s 11 airports handled 1,367,342 passengers in the 2013/14 financial year, an increase of 5.4% on the previous year (an additional 69,666 passengers).  
FloWave Test Tank Facility Can Simulate Pentland Firth ConditionsThumbnail for article : FloWave Test Tank Facility Can Simulate Pentland Firth Conditions
EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY'S MULTI-MILLION POUND BRAND-NEW 'FloWave TT' FACILITY IS A WORLD-LEADER THAT CAN SIMULATE ACTUAL PENTLAND FIRTH WAVE AND TIDAL SEA-CONDITIONS.   One of the biggest and most complex scientific instruments ever devised and built in Scotland will be 'in commercial action' for the first time this Spring (2014) at its site near Blackford Hill in Edinburgh.  
Serco NorthLink Ferries is pleased to launch its brand new online booking system, with added features and increased user-friendliness.   Customers are now able to book a number of services which were previously unavailable online, including meals, cots and kennels.  
Gills Harbour Works Repair Storm DamageThumbnail for article : Gills Harbour Works Repair Storm Damage
Works have been going on at the Inner Basin of Gills Harbour, on the North coast of Caithness, during the past few weeks.   The project, which is being undertaken mostly using large back-hoe excavators, is mainly aimed at removing boulders and loose jagged rocks from the Basin's sea-floor.  
Business and tourism boost for regional airportsThumbnail for article : Business and tourism boost for regional airports
Increased demand for business and tourism flights saw passenger numbers grow by more than 5,100 at HIAL’s regional airports last month.   Latest figures show the number of passengers using the airports in February increased by 5.9% to 92,607, compared to February 2013.  
C-Odyssey at Gills Harbour Thumbnail for article : C-Odyssey at Gills Harbour
Report - Bill Mowatt The flagship of the largest fleet of 'marine renewables support vessels' in Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters has been on a two-day operational working visit to Gills Harbour in Caithness.   The versatile C-Odyssey has been specifically designed to service the fledgling industry and was delivered new to owners/operators Leask Marine Ltd, of Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, from a shipyard in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2011, at a reported cost of over 3 million.  
Wick John OGroats Airport well Placed To Become Energy GatewayThumbnail for article : Wick John OGroats Airport well Placed To Become Energy Gateway
Wick John O'Groats Airport is well placed to capture a greater share of the energy market, says Airport Station Manager William Sutherland.   His remarks followed a visit by Alan Simpson, Integrated Planning and Turnaround Manager at Chevron, to mark the end of the company's year-long presence at the airport.  
Impromptu Meeting With A Top UK Cabinet Minister At Gills
The three officer-bearers of the community company which owns and operates Gills Harbour, the Scottish mainlands most Northerly port in Caithness, held a surprise impromptu meeting with a top UK Cabinet Minister on Friday 24th January, 2014.   The Rt.  
Serco Northlink Ferries Welcomes New look Hamnavoe Back To ServiceThumbnail for article : Serco Northlink Ferries Welcomes New look Hamnavoe Back To Service
Northlink Ferries is set to welcome the MV Hamnavoe back to service on Friday, 24 January 2014, complete with new livery.   The photo here shows Hamnavoe on 5th January before the makeover.  
A New Class Of Ship Will Match Pentland Firth ConditionsThumbnail for article : A New Class Of Ship Will Match Pentland Firth Conditions
Mojo Maritime reaches a major milestone in building the Hi Flo 4 offshore construction vessel.   Mojo Maritime has signed, on 16 January, a Memorandum of Understanding with Hammonia Reederei GmbH & Co.  
A high-powered team from the Crown Estate visited Gills Harbour this week where it met directors of its Canisbay community-owned port and its (partial) lessee Mr Andrew Banks, managing director of Pentland Ferries Ltd.   'Preliminary discussions' on several matters of mutual interest took place, including a brief introduction to and description of the present 'Coastal Community Fund'.  
Wick John O'Groats Passenger Numbers Increase AgainThumbnail for article :  Wick John O'Groats Passenger Numbers Increase Again
HIAL passenger numbers up by 10%.   The number of air passengers using Scotlands regional airports grew by more than 10% last month.  
MSP Praises Airport Usage IncreaseThumbnail for article : MSP Praises Airport Usage Increase
Visiting Wick John OGroats Airport recently, Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSP Rhoda Grant has praised the boost in airport usage by around 120 % due to the increased demand from the energy industry.   Chevron uses Wick John O' Groats Airport as its base to transport offshore workers to its rigs.  
HIE Team Visits Gills Harbour
TOP-LEVEL HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS ENTERPRISE TEAM VISITS GILLS HARBOUR IN LATE OCTOBER, 2013.   A top-level team from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Government's North of Scotland jobs agency, visited Gills Harbour and were given a tour of its facilities this week (21.10.13) by the office-bearers of its Canisbay community owners, Gills Harbour Ltd (GHL).  
Passenger growth continued at HIAL In September
Passenger numbers grew by more than 11,000 at Scotlands regional airports last month.   Latest figures show that HIALs 11 airports handled 126,672 passengers in September, an increase of 11,229 (+9.7%) on the same month last year.  
Atlantis 'partners with plane and missile maker Lockheed Martim
Report By Bill Mowat Atlantis Resources Corporation is 10% shareholder in MeyGen Ltd's Inner Sound seabed lease Crown Estate concession, which lies between 1 and 1.5 miles off Gills Bay/Harbour, between the mainland of Canisbay parish and Stroma Island.   As GHL chairman, I'm quite happy to be quoted as stating that the move upwards to 1.5 MW output per individual tidal stream electricity-generating is being considered and indeed is in the early stages of being acted upon by several other tidal turbine developers.  
HIAL passenger numbers at four year high as financial performance improvesThumbnail for article : HIAL passenger numbers at four year high as financial performance improves
Scotlands regional airport operator HIAL recorded 1.3 million passengers last year, delivered an improved financial performance, and invested more than 8 million upgrading its 11 airports.   The figures are among the highlights in the companys annual report and accounts for 2012/13.  
Leader seeks European support for Highlands and Islands air travellers
Getting a better deal on air travel for rural regions, such as the Highlands and Islands, was top of the agenda for The Highland Council Leader Drew Hendry when he addressed delegates at the General Assembly of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions in St Malo, Brittany, France.   Councillor Hendry won the support of delegates for further research to be carried out by CPMR for present to the European Commission.  
1,000 new jobs planned by Pentland Firth stakeholder .. but 1,000 miles away
The parent firm of a major shareholder in a seabed lease from the Crown Estate in the Pentland Firth is vowing to establish a 'European industrial nerve-centre fore tidal turbines' ...  but almost 1,000 miles away from the North of Scotland.