Sumburgh Airport car park charges will be delayed
Controversial car parking charges at Sumburgh Airport will not be introduced on Sunday, as originally planned by airport operator Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd.
Hial still intends to bring in the £3 per day fee in Orkney and Stornoway on 1st July. But ongoing discussions between the airport authority and Shetland Islands Council are delaying their introduction here.
The council is writing to the new islands minister Paul Wheelhouse calling for a full impact assessment of introducing the fees in Shetland.
That follows a meeting last week when elected members and officials met Hial representatives.
Figures showed “significant subsidies” were going to Dundee Airport.
Councillors are disappointed the former islands minister Humza Yousaf did not raise the issue of any impact assessment in relation to the distribution of funds across the Hial network of airports.
Speaking after today’s full council meeting, council leader Steven Coutts said: “We need reassurance from the Scottish government that we’ll not suffer unfairly at the expense of other airports like Dundee.
“We were disappointed with a lack of communication with Hial, however the responsibility for carrying out an impact assessment rests with government. We cannot see another tax rolled out in the islands.”
Mr Wheelhouse was named as new islands minister following Nicola Sturgeon’s ministerial reshuffle. His brief also includes energy and connectivity. He replaces Mr Yousaf who has taken a new cabinet position as justice secretary.
Transport, which was the responsibility of Mr Yousaf, is now the remit of Michael Matheson.
Meanwhile, Isles MSP Tavish Scott has called on ministers to reconsider the rollout of the charges at Sumburgh Airport.
• More in this week’s Shetland Times