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Helicopters Boost Wick John O’Groats Airport To Strong Air Traffic Growth

24th March 2013

Photograph of 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.

Growth was strongest at Sumburgh and Wick John O’Groats, both of which have benefited from increased energy sector and refuelling activity. Passenger numbers grew by 4,361 and 1,296 respectively. A big boost was given to Wick John O'Groats recently with the arrival of Chevron UK using the airport for helicopters.

Kirkwall also enjoyed strong growth, with numbers up by 977, as a result of increased demand on inter-island and mainland services.

Demand was also up at Barra, Benbecula, Islay and Tiree. However, passenger numbers fell at Dundee, Campbeltown, Inverness and Stornoway, the result of schedule changes and fewer aircraft movements.

In the year to date (April 2012-February 2013), passenger numbers across the group increased by 2.9%.

Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of HIAL said: “After a strong start in January, growth was more modest in February. Nevertheless the underlying picture is positive with numbers up by almost 3% over the past year, and double digit growth at a number of our airports, including Sumburgh and Wick John O’Groats.

“As we approach the start of the summer season, we expect that growth will continue and that Inverness, in particular, will recover from what has been a relatively slow winter as airlines increase capacity during the busier summer months.”

February passenger totals
 BARRA 537 (+11.2%)
 BENBECULA 2,692 (+6.7%)
 CAMPBELTOWN 553 (-20.7%)
 DUNDEE 2,003 (-55.6%)
 INVERNESS 37,882 (-4.4%)
 ISLAY 1,596 (+0.9%)
 KIRKWALL 11,793 (+9%)
 STORNOWAY 8,908 (-6.9%)
 SUMBURGH 17,457 (+33.3%)
 TIREE 652 (+8.8%)
 WICK JOHN O’GROATS 3,403 (+61.5%)

 

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