Tens of thousands of tonnes of rock are now holding the sea back from Stornoway Airport.
Work to prevent floods from hitting the airport, which connects people in Stornoway to neighbouring islands and the mainland, has taken more than a year.
With the work now finished, Stornoway Airport has a new set of “rock armour” weighing over 36,000 tons.
It includes a “mattress” of stone under the beach next to the airport and stone-filled baskets on top of the sand.
Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) announced the completion of the £5.3 million fortifications on Thursday.
The project began after investigation showed an “urgent” need to protect the airport from flooding, a Hial spokesperson says.
Erosion, caused by the constant force of the sea against the land, has worn down the dunes that have shielded Stornoway Airport in the past.
“We are extremely pleased that these works have been completed,” says Duncan C. M. Smith, Hial’s manager in Stornoway.
He added that the protection will be of “massive benefit to the long-term future of Stornoway Airport”.
The rock should hold back erosion for “decades to come”.
“When we noticed that coastal erosion was becoming a significant issue on the north-east quartile of the beach next to the airport, plans were swiftly put in place to restore the coastal defences,” he says.
“Airport infrastructure” would have been “at risk” without the new structures, he says.
Kevin O’Leary, Hial’s chief operating officer, highlighted the importance of keeping Stornoway Airport safe.
“This project was an extremely important one as part of our ongoing commitment to support essential connectivity for our island communities,” he said.
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