Barra Airport passenger numbers soar with biggest percentage rise among Scotland’s regional terminals

Barra Airport passenger numbers soar with biggest percentage rise among Scotland’s regional terminals

The world-famous Barra Airport in the Outer Hebrides, which has a beach runway, has recorded the biggest percentage rise in passengers among a group of Scotland’s regional terminals last year.

Latest figures have revealed a record number of people used Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) airports in 2017.

The group reported 1,722,913 journeys during the year.

The figures show numbers were up 102,577 on the previous year’s total of 1,620,336 people who used the company’s airports across Scotland, an increase of 6.3%.

Highlights include a 6.3% increase at Inverness, which had nearly 855,000 passengers, and an 18.9% jump in passenger numbers at Barra Airport – the only scheduled flights in the world that land on a beach – which saw 14,264 passengers using its runway when the tide was out in 2017.

It was the biggest rise of any airport in the group and up from 11,994 in 2016 – though last year’s overall total was only higher than Tiree and Campletown.

The first planes landed on the sand at Barra, in the wide bay of Traigh Mhor, in June 1936.

It was officially licensed as an airport on August 8 that year.

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