20th May 2018
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Cash talks on runway

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By NEIL RIDDELL

REPAIRS to a runway at Sumburgh Airport which was damaged during storms last winter are almost complete and Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) is looking for the SIC to share the cost of the £250,000 works.

Airport manager Nigel Flaws said efforts to remedy the damage to the east-west runway, which was partly washed away by colossal seas in January, were in line to be completed by the second week of December.

He also confirmed that HIAL was hoping that the council would agree to a 50-50 split over the cost, which was the subject of “ongoing negotiations”.

SIC head of finance Graham Johnston said HIAL had approached the council regarding the possibility of a grant towards the remedial works but was now awaiting a decision from the airport group as to whether it wanted to submit a formal application. He said: “The council will respond appropriately if such an application is received.”

At the start of the year, a major operation had to be undertaken at Sumburgh to clear debris from the new runway and replace rock armouring that had been smashed away. There are fears that the structure of the runway, particularly the looser material forming the centre of the land extension, means part of it could be washed away again in heavy seas.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Sumburgh Airport consultative committee on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Flaws alluded to discussions with one major oil company regarding developments to the west of Shetland, although any concrete business for the terminal as a result remains “a couple of years away”.

Sumburgh also hopes to be able to attract some decommissioning-related work.

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