The constituency MSP for Skye has said she hopes passenger flights to the island will be a step closer if a major Highland Council committee gives its business case the green light.
Tomorrow (2 November) a 104-page proposal will go before Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, and Kate Forbes MSP hopes it will be met with favourable approval.
Councillors are being asked to confirm support for the reintroduction of scheduled air services to Skye airport, as well as a budget allocation of up to £30,000 for short-term development activities.
Kate Forbes MSP said: “I am really excited about the prospect of reopening the airport on Skye.
“We’ve already got the basic infrastructure there, and now several commissioned reports have confirmed the enormous benefits of direct flights to Skye.
“For me, one of the greatest challenges to economic growth on Skye, and therefore job creation, population retention and thriving communities, is the fact it takes a minimum of two hours to get to an airport and five hours to get to Edinburgh or Glasgow.
“Having an airport on Skye would change that.”
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch adeed: “I’ve been impressed with HiTrans, HIE and Highland Council who have worked together with groups like FlySkye to bring us to this point.
“My overriding objective is to make Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch a place where people want to live, work and raise a family.
“In Skye, we’ve had a bumper year of tourism, but to extend the season, to attract people for shorter stays and to enable faster and cheaper exports of globally-renowned food and drink products from Skye we need an airport.”
Kate Forbes MSP has been a vocal supporter of establishing an airport on Skye, having already championed it on the floor of the Holyrood chamber earlier in the summer when she asked the Scottish Government what progress had been made in reintroduction of passenger flights to the island.