Highlands & Islands

Online survey to assess demand for Skye flights

Ashaig airstrip. Pic: John Allan/Geograph
Image caption An air strip on Skye remains available to the emergency services and the military

An independent survey will help public bodies to assess demand for the resumption of air services to and from Skye.

Loganair flew out of the island's Ashaig Airfield, which was built in the 1970s by Army engineers, until 1988.

Highland Council owns the strip and it is still available to light aircraft.

The survey forms part of a wider review commissioned by Highland Council, transport body Hitrans and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

HIE said the online survey would be available from Thursday.

In a statement, the public bodies said the airfield would require a substantial upgrade if it was to be made available for scheduled flights.

A spokesperson added: "This survey will help assess the potential for air services, which destinations would be most in demand and what frequency a potential air service to and from Skye and Lochalsh could have.

"We hope that as many people and businesses as possible complete the survey so we can get as accurate a picture as possible of what the likely demand for such a service could be."

The final report on the review is expected to be published in early 2013.

Though commercial flights ended in 1988, the strip continued to be available for use by the emergency services and the military.

NHS Highland and the ambulance service use it for flying Broadford Hospital patients to larger hospitals in Inverness and Glasgow.

It also appears briefly in a scene from the 1980 film Flash Gordon, which starred Sam J Jones, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton and Brian Blessed.

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