WORK is under way to replace the lighting at Sumburgh Airport with a capital project worth almost £2 million.
Much of the airfield ground lighting dates from the 1970s and has reached the end of its life. The £1.9 million investment by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) will provide a new system which meets current regulatory standards.
Local contractor Ness Engin-eering will carry out the work over the coming months with design and project management services being provided by Halcrow Group. Both appointments were made following a competitive tendering process earlier this year.
HIAL’s board recently gave the final capital approval for the project and initial work on site has now commenced.
Managing director Inglis Lyon said: “Sumburgh is our second busiest airport and provides essential air links to the mainland for the people of Shetland. The growth achieved here in recent years has been good for the local economy and we will continue to pursue development opportunities for both scheduled and oil-related business at Sumburgh.
“This capital investment demonstrates a strong commitment to the airport and the services it provides for the communities and economy of the islands.
Sumburgh Airport manager Nigel Flaws said: “Most of the current lighting system is now approaching the end of its life so this investment will ensure continuity of service at the airport and that we provide a facility that meets the needs of our scheduled flight and oil industry customers.”
The passengers at Sumburgh increased by 13 per cent last year to more than 164,000 while aircraft movements increased by 20 per cent to more than 15,000.