Improvements to local infrastructure have led to a major spike in tourism and the renaissance of the Scottish islands as a popular place to live and work. Building on this potential, there has been an aspiration by the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS)
and the Scottish Government to reinstate flight services to the Isle of Skye.
Arcadis was appointed by HITRANS
to undertake a detailed study of Broadford Airfield, which has fallen out of regular use since commercial flights were ended in 1988, demonstrating the feasibility of cost effectively reopening the airfield to commercial flights and testing business, tourism and community appetite.
The work is part of a three year trial, with a view to permanent airport operations. As part of this study, Arcadis’ role included reviewing previous works to establish the minimum works required to recommence commercial flights by:
1. Assessing facility requirements and benchmarking airport planning needs, including:
2. Liaison with numerous stakeholders, including Highlands & Islands Airports, HITRANS, the local council and Scottish government.
airport operational requirements
air traffic controls
detailed cost plans
With a detailed knowledge of the sector, the team focused on looking at innovative ways of interpreting aviation regulations and developed phased plans to enable a positive end result. As a result, the original development cost of re-opening the airfield has been reduced by 76%.
It is likely that the return of day flights between the Isle of Skye and Edinburgh or Glasgow will enable economic growth, connectivity and social cohesion across the Islands. Arcadis’ focus on improving quality of life not just in major transport hubs like London or Manchester, but also by extending flights to remote communities right across the UK will be integral to bringing growth and innovation to these vital regions.