A workshop is being held at the Aros Centre in Portree today (29 January) where the draft findings of a study into the economic and social benefits of re-establishing air services between Skye and the central-belt will be presented.
The research which is being undertaken by ekosgen, on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) builds on a previous study carried out in 2013 to establish demand for a service.
It will help to inform HIE, HITRANS and The Highland Council on the overall business case for the re-establishment of the air service.
Through an online survey, the researchers received the views of almost two hundred businesses, social enterprises and community organisations on specific potential economic and social benefits of a service being reintroduced. Consultations with a representative sample of businesses, key stakeholders and community organisations have also been undertaken.
The final report will be published in due course once the feedback from the workshop has been incorporated.
HIE’s Stuart MacPherson, said: “Air services from and to small rural airports play a key role in supporting economic and community growth. The feedback from the consultations with businesses, key stakeholders and community organisations will help inform any future decisions about reintroducing a Skye air service.
"The draft report so far highlights 75 percent of businesses would make use of the services at least quarterly. It also suggested that use of an air service by businesses would be higher than the demand identified in 2013. Twenty-five percent of businesses also reported that they would use the air service to the central-belt for onward connections.”