Councillors urged to save Fair Isle air link
Councillors are being urged to save the air link between the Mainland and Fair Isle with an annual grant of £15,000 to the National Trust for Scotland.
The organisation, which owns the island, asked the SIC for financial support in September last year but members of the infrastructure committee deferred a decision in February for more information.
The trust, which has been badly hit by the economic downturn, has now said it will be left with an operational deficit of more than £16,000 in the current financial year and can no longer afford to run the Fair Isle airstrip.
Officials are recommending to councillors on the committee, who will meet on Tuesday, that they approve a £15,000 yearly cash injection on the grounds that it offers good value for money and is consistent with support given to airstrips in other outlying islands.
As well as providing a vital link with the Mainland, the Fair Isle strip employs 10 people in Fair Isle as firemen, with three present at each landing.
There are around 250 landings every year, and revenue from these is expected to be £11,400 this year, while staff wages, essential maintenance, licencing fees and other costs will be more than £28,000.