Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Flights from Wick Airport - Uncertainty over future funding of Wick Aberdeen Service

20th February 2024

The Highland Council is currently unable to confirm whether funding will be available to support the Wick-Aberdeen Public Service Obligation (PSO) after 31st March 2024.

The funding for the PSO is currently provided on the basis of £1.3m annually, with £1m committed by the Scottish Government and £0.3m committed by The Highland Council. The Council's portion of the funding remains committed but there is uncertainty around the position of Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government's funding commitment to the PSO was made by the then Cabinet Secretary, Michael Matheson MSP, in February 2021, with funding starting as of 2022/23 to coincide with the start of PSO air services and running for two years initially, with a further two years (to 2025/26) subject to passenger growth in the first two years.

Since June 2023, the Council has been liaising with Transport Scotland officials as indication was given at that time of uncertainty around the continuation of funding. Following a productive meeting between the Council, stakeholders, and Transport Scotland in August 2023, a case for continued funding was produced by the Council and delivered in early October 2023. As of 19th February 2024, no decision has yet been made by Scottish Government.

As of January 2024, in its second year of operation the service has carried 9,252 passengers as compared to 8,835 in the first year of operation, and is showing an average growth year-to-date of 25%. By 31st March 2024, it is expected that the service will have carried over 11,000 passengers.

Leader of the Highland Council, Councillor Raymond Bremner, said: ""I wrote to the Cabinet Secretary on 12 February given the urgent necessity of requiring a decision in respect of the Scottish Government's continued support for the PSO operating from Wick. A lot of work went into making sure that the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland had all the necessary information on which to make a positive decision.

"Since that information was submitted, Wick Airport has continued to see increased passenger numbers and, in this current year, is the top performing airport in respect of increased passenger numbers year-on-year in the HIAL portfolio of airports. In October and December of last year, passenger numbers had increased by 25% and 22% YTD respectively. The Highland Council has done everything it possibly can including its commitment to the continuation of funding which, at the beginning of the PSO was known to be £1.2m. I sincerely hope that the Cabinet Secretary endorses the commitment evidenced to date by so many."

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Yesterday
Apprenticeships Offer Earning Opportunities Alongside Learning In Refurbishment Of Historic ParkThumbnail for article : Apprenticeships Offer Earning Opportunities Alongside Learning In Refurbishment Of Historic Park
Today, Morrison Construction introduced some of their local apprentices who are working on the UK Governments' Levelling Up Funded refurbishment project at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness.  All these apprentices have been recruited from the Highland area.  
13/4/2024
Independent Candidate Wins Inverness South Bi-electionThumbnail for article : Independent Candidate Wins Inverness South Bi-election
The by-election to elect a councillor to represent Ward 19 - Inverness South on The Highland Council has been won by Duncan Cameron McDonald - Independent who was one of the eight candidates who contested the vacancy.   Voters in the ward went to the poll yesterday (Thursday 11 April) and the by-election count was held this morning in The Highland Council Headquarters in Inverness.  
10/4/2024
Technology Placement Programme In Highland
The Technology Placement Programme offers funding to businesses in the Highland Council area to cover up to 70% of the cost of employing a student or graduate.   The Technology Placement Programme offers funding to businesses in the Highland Council area to cover up to 70% of the cost of employing a student or graduate.  
3/4/2024
Council Announces Extra Digital Funding To Support Highland BusinessesThumbnail for article : Council Announces Extra Digital Funding To Support Highland Businesses
Following the success of its Business Digital Grant scheme launched last year, The Highland Council is delighted to announce further funding.  This is to help Highland companies access digital support alongside other business growth support.  
27/3/2024
Wick Public Service Obligation Celebrates Successful Second Year Subsidising Wick Aberdeen FlightsThumbnail for article : Wick Public Service Obligation Celebrates Successful Second Year Subsidising Wick Aberdeen Flights
The Highland Council is delighted to confirm a highly successful second year for Public Service Obligation (PSO) flights between Wick and Aberdeen.   The period from April 2023 to March 2024 has seen a substantial increase in passenger numbers, with several months seeing over 1,000 passengers using the service, and overall the service has seen year on year growth of 25%.  
18/3/2024
Members Agree Digital Ambition For Highland Council - Or How To Make Cuts Without Saying SoThumbnail for article : Members Agree Digital Ambition For Highland Council - Or How To Make Cuts Without Saying So
Members of Highland Council, who met on Thursday 14 March 2024, approved a corporate Digital Ambition, which has been designed to deliver significant organisational change across Council services, recognising the current priorities within the organisation.   The Strategy, which is embedded within the wider Council Delivery Plan, has been developed to focus attention and resources on areas of change which will deliver the greatest benefit to the Council.  
14/3/2024
Clarification On The Role Of MCR Pathways' Coordinators And Mentors In Highland Schools
The Council remains committed to supporting mentoring in our schools, including the support that is currently delivered through the MCR Pathways programme.   Highland Council is currently undertaking a review of Employability Support provided by a number of different council services and how these relate to the work carried out by external partners and in our schools.  
15/3/2024
Council Agrees A New Draft Highland Outcome Improvement Plan
Highland Council members have considered and agreed a revised draft Highland Outcome Improvement Plan.   The partnership plan has been reviewed and updated by the Community Planning Partnership.  
15/3/2024
Members agree Highland Council's new Community Wealth Building Strategy
Members at today's (14 March 2024) meeting of The Highland Council agreed the local authority's new draft Community Wealth Building Strategy.   They were also asked to note that a period of public engagement on the draft will now begin, with a final strategy returning to full Council for consideration in September.  
15/3/2024
£60m Capital Investment Approved For Roads And Infrastructure In Highland
Plans to invest up to £60m new Capital in Highland roads and infrastructure have been approved by Members at the Council meeting on 14 March 2024.   The decision will see an additional £40m Capital investment in roads and transport infrastructure.