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Consultation on £1.4million Barra Airport plans to be held

A consultation is being held on plans to expand Barra Airport to cope with demand
A consultation is being held on plans to expand Barra Airport to cope with demand

With its spectacular beach landing, it is a bucket list flight for thousands of passengers each year.

Now Barra Airport in the Outer Hebrides – the only terminal in the world where scheduled flights land on a tidal beach – is in line for a £1.4million makeover.

A second consultation with islanders over a revamped terminal building is due to take place on Wednesday.

Highland and Islands Airports (HIAL) has already stressed it has no plans to replace the airport’s sandy runways, which can only be used when the tide is out, with a tarred one.

Prior to the pandemic, the number of passengers using the airport had been steadily climbing to an annual total of just under 15,000. The current terminal building was built for a capacity of around 7,000.

HIAL is proposing to refurbish the terminal building at Barra Airport in three phases to increase capacity.

A report states: “Passenger numbers at Barra Airport have almost doubled since 1978 when the terminal building was built, and in 2018 Barra Airport welcomed nearly 15,000 passengers.

“In addition, the airport is a popular tourist destination in its own right, and this refurbishment will expand and improve the building and its facilities for passengers, visitors and staff as well as ensuring better access and provision for persons with reduced mobility.”

As well as tourists, the airport provides a lifeline link with the mainland for islanders, with twice-daily flights to and from Glasgow, and is also used for medical emergencies.

Anyone wishing to have their say on the plans can attend the public consultation at the airport from 6.30pm on Wednesday, September 29.

Work is scheduled to commence in November or December and is expected to be completed by May.

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