Future assured for Fair Isle airstrip as councillors agree to pay up
Fears over the future of the air link to Fair Isle were eased this week when Shetland Islands Council agreed a grant of £15,000 for the airstrip.
Owned and operated by the National Trust for Scotland, the airstrip currently makes a loss of over £16,000 a year.
Incoming revenue of £11,400 from flight landings is offset by £16,000 in staff wages and a further £14,000 incurred through maintenance, capital works, licensing, administration, training and travel subsistence.
In September last year the National Trust appealed to the council for help, but a decision was deferred in February until a meeting with the trust and further information could be provided.
A statement before Tuesday’s meeting of the SIC infrastructure committee explained that the increased cost of health and safety, annual surveys and training made it impossible to continue without an annual grant from the council.
The committee unanimously approved the recommendation to provide the £15,000 grant, with Shetland South councillor Jim Budge saying it was important for the service to continue.