The Scottish Land Court has ruled that the disputed land at Stornoway Airport in Lewis should remain in crofting tenure.
Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) had sought a ruling that all crofting rights had been extinguished.
It had been argued that the land was requisitioned in World War Two to establish an RAF station.
Hial had planned to sell the area of land to a developer so that more than 80 new homes could be built.
Melbost and Branahuie grazings committees disputed the plan, arguing that their grazing rights continued because there was no evidence that compulsory purchase powers had been used to acquire the land.
'Assess our position'
The crofters also argued there had never been a ruling from the land court to de-croft the land.
The land court has repelled Hial's pleas and sustained the crofters' plea that the disputed land remains in crofting tenure.
Common grazing is land shared by crofters for raising livestock.
A spokesman for Hial said: "It has always been our intention to develop this land, not for profit, but to create affordable, high-quality homes that would benefit local people.
"We are disappointed the land court's judgement prevents us from implementing our plans. We will study the court's decision in full and will assess our position."
Hial said the decision did not impact on the day-to-day airport operations at Stornoway Airport.