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Air / Bus / Rail / Ferry Services News

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.  
Orcadia Work-boat Visits Gills HarbourThumbnail for article : Orcadia Work-boat Visits Gills Harbour
The powerful modern 25 metre 'multi-cat' vessel 'Orcadia' berthed at Gills Harbour on Friday morning 17th May 2013; her first call there this year.   She is owned and operated by Scotmarine Ltd, of Stromness, Orkney, one of a group of 'marine renewables' companies in the islands founded and headed by entrepreneur Barry Johnston.  
Gills Harbour Planning For Pentland Firth EnergyThumbnail for article : Gills Harbour Planning For Pentland Firth Energy
Some indicative Pentland Firth energy sketches relating to Gills Bay/Gills Harbour, Caithness, KW1 4YB.   The sketches have been drafted for Gills Harbour Ltd by Mark Fresson, a senior architect at Archial Ltd's North of Scotland office in Inverness and kindly donated to community-owned Gills company.  
Gills Harbour Visit By Highland Council ConvenorThumbnail for article : Gills Harbour Visit By Highland Council Convenor
Two top Highland Council leaders have been paying a fact-finding visit to Gills Harbour.   Council convener Councillor Jimmy Gray and Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee chair Councillor Deirdre Mackay looked over facilities at the busy Canisbay facility, on the shores of the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound.  
Passenger numbers at Scotland’s regional airports grew last month, heralding a positive end to the winter season.   Latest figures from airport operator HIAL show that its 11 airports handled 103,616 passengers in March, an increase of 5,507 (+5.6%) on last March.  
HIAL launches draft Gaelic Language Plan
Regional airports group HIAL has today launched a draft Gaelic Language Plan for consultation.   In common with other public authorities, HIAL is required by the Scottish Government to produce a Gaelic Language Plan under the terms of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.  
Local Connections Of Man Appointed To Lead Tidal Turbines Installations
Local roots of lead installations engineer for first tidal-stream turbies to enter Inner Sound.   A Caithness-descended sub-sea engineer, who is proud of his Canisbay parish roots, is to take charge of the installation of the very first electricity-generating tidal turbine in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound next year (2014).  
Helicopters Boost Wick John O’Groats Airport To Strong Air Traffic GrowthThumbnail for article : Helicopters Boost Wick John O’Groats Airport To Strong Air Traffic Growth
Passenger numbers at Scotland’s regional airports increased by 2.2% last month.   Latest figures from airport operator HIAL show that its 11 airports handled 87,476 passengers in February, an increase of 1,869 passengers compared to the same month last year.  
Devices Placed In Pentland Firth to Take MeasurementsThumbnail for article : Devices Placed In Pentland Firth to Take Measurements
Report by Bill Mowat The vessel was there for Mojo Maritime Ltd of Falmouth, Cornwall and was in port to deploy three 'Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler' (ADCP) devices on the seabed of the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound.   This was undertaken for MeyGen Ltd, the company that holds the Crown Estate's seabed licence for that part of the Firth as a site for development as 'the world's first commercial tidal stream electricity power station'.  
Scotland’s regional airport operator got off to a strong start to 2013, with a significant rise in passenger numbers in January.   Latest figures from airport group HIAL show that its 11 airports handled 84,981 passengers last month, an increase of 9.1% on January 2012.  
Scottish regional airport operator HIAL ended the year on a high with an increase in passengers in December and in 2012 as a whole.   Latest figures show that HIAL’s 11 airports handled 1,283,362 passengers in 2012, an increase of 3.1% on the previous year.  
No Ferries Sailings From Aberdeen To The Isles
Serco NorthLink Ferries has confirmed that sailings between the Northern Isles and Aberdeen today (21 December) have been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.   According to current weather forecasts storms will halt sailings until Sun 23 December.  
Further Cancellations on Northern Isles Ferry Services
Serco NorthLink has issued another warning to customers as severe weather continues to disrupt ferry services linking Aberdeen with Orkney and Shetland.   The operator is in the process of contacting customers booked on services between today and Christmas to advise them most sailings are likely to be cancelled.  
NorthLink Issues Warning to Travellers - Ferries Cancellations Due To Impending Severe Weather
Severe Weather Due to Disrupt Services Serco NorthLink has warned customers to expect unprecedented disruption to services as forecasts predict severe weather until Christmas Eve.   The ferry operator brought today’s southbound sailing from Lerwick forward to 1300hrs, with arrival in Kirkwall expected at 1800hrs.