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Air / Bus / Rail / Ferry Services News

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 mainlandís 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 Scotlandís regional airports grew by more than 10% last month.  
MSP Praises Airport Usage IncreaseThumbnail for article : MSP Praises Airport Usage Increase
Visiting Wick John OíGroats 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 Scotlandís regional airports last month.   Latest figures show that HIALís 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
Scotlandís 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 companyís 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.  
Pentland Survey Work Now UnderwayThumbnail for article : Pentland Survey Work Now Underway
Detailed sea-survey work for a tidal stream electricity 'array' in the Pentland Firth is in full swing just now with specialist vessel Lia.   The officers and crew of a specialist vessel, owned by a venerable British family business with a history dating back over 200 years, have been busy this week (starting 04.08.13) in the Pentland Firth conducting detailed surveys in connection with a planned sub-sea 'tidal stream electricity' power station.  
Big 'push' by France into tidal-stream electricity developments
Reporter - Bill Mowat Big 'push' by France into tidal-stream electricity developments, spearheaded by a major Pentland Firth participant, is welcomed by the chairman of Scotland's most Northerly mainland port.  Community-owned Gills Harbour Ltd lies adjacent to the Firth's 'tide-fields', while upgrade works at the Gills Bay site continue throughout this summer (2013).  
Debut Visit To Gills HarbourThumbnail for article : Debut Visit To Gills Harbour
The latest vessel in a Far North fleet servicing marine renewables in 'Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters' made her debut call at Gills Harbour on July 2nd, 2013 and was based there for the next three days.   The motor vessel Ocean Explorer is a recent addition to the 6-strong flotilla of 'marine electricity support vessels' owned and operated by Leask Marine Ltd, of Kirkwall, Orkney Islands.  
Gills spur-road retaining wall restorationThumbnail for article : Gills spur-road retaining wall restoration
Staff with a Caithness civil engineering firm, working on behalf of the Highland Council, have been taking advantage of a recent astronomical phenomenon to secure the future integrity of a key access road in the Far North.   A small section of the foundations of the Council's 'spur' access road from the John O'Groats to Thurso A 836 route to busy Gills Harbour were undermined by the action of a 'very severe' sea-storm last winter.  
Huge Increase In Passenger Numbers At Wick John O'Groats AirportThumbnail for article : Huge Increase In Passenger Numbers At Wick John O'Groats Airport
HIAL PASSENGER NUMBERS UP BY 8,000.   Wick John O'Groats passenger traffic was up by 123% in May.  
First Tidal Stream Installation Ship Being Built For Pentland FirthThumbnail for article : First Tidal Stream Installation Ship Being Built For Pentland Firth
New updated sketch 'renderings' of the World's first purpose-built tidal stream turbine installation ship, the planned HiFlo-4 catamaran vessel, have just been released by her designers Mojo Maritime Ltd, of Falmouth, Cornwall, one of Britain's most technologically-innovative 'green' marine energy specialist engineering companies.   Its managing director Captain Richard Parkinson has told Gills Harbour Ltd's chairman that its innovative vessel is on track for being delivered from her builder's shipyard during the summer of 2015.