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Caithness News Bulletins September 2003

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Air Passenger Figures Increase In The Highlands and Islands

The month of August saw strong passenger growth continue at airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports limited.

Passengers across the company’s 10 airports were up 4.9% to 88,436, amounting to 4,111 extra air travellers compared to the same month last year.

The running total for the current year starting on 1 April 2003 now stands at 418,351, up by more than 32,000 on 2002-2003.

The largest year on year passenger growth for August was at Inverness with 17.3% and Barra with 10.8%. Passenger numbers at Stornoway also increased by 6.8% while the airports at Islay and Kirkwall have also seen passenger traffic growth.

The number of passengers arriving in Inverness from London airports in August has increased by over 600 to 3,398 compared to 2,789 for the same month in 2002. The running total for in-bound passengers from London stands at 17,001, which is up by more than 3,000.

Total aircraft movements, including scheduled, charter, executive, general aviation and military flights have also grown, up 16.3% in August across the 10 airports to a running total of 36,595 for the current year.

Bob Macleod, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports, said: “Yet again our latest figures are on the up, reflecting the increasing economic and social importance of air travel in the region. Our commercially focused strategy is paying dividends, giving the traveling public more options in terms of destinations and services which include scheduled flights and outbound holiday charters.

“These figures support our efforts to bring more new routes and services at our hub airports and demonstrate to customer airlines that there is significant potential for air travel in the region.”

HIAL August 2003 Passenger Figures

Airports Monthly Total August 2003 Monthly Total August 2002 Monthly Total % Difference
Barra 1,053 950 +10.8
Benbecula 3,273 3,383 -3.3
Campbeltown 901 1,059 -14.9
Inverness 45,750 39,018 +17.3
Islay 2,352 2,281 +3.1
Kirkwall 11,055 10,492 +5.4
Stornoway 9,575 8,967 +6.8
Sumburgh non-oil 10,902 12,205 -10.7
Tiree 645 650 -0.8
Wick 2,475 2,596 -4.7
Total non-oil 87,981 81,601 +7.8
Sumburgh oil 455 2,724 -83.3
Total Passengers 88,436 84,325 +4.9

Please see next page for 2003-2004 running total stats.

HIAL Passenger Figures for 2003-2004 (April-August)

Airports Running Total 2003/2004 Running Total 2002/2003 Running Total % Difference
Barra 4,557 4,358 +4.6
Benbecula 15,132 15,075 +0.4
Campbeltown 4,024 4,069 -1.1
Inverness 214,635 181,598 +18.2
Islay 10,570 10,860 -2.7
Kirkwall 51,351 49,685 +3.4
Stornoway 47,072 39,712 +18.5
Sumburgh non-oil 49,746 53,652 -7.5
Tiree 2,513 2,556 -1.7
Wick 12,771 12,820 -0.4
Total non-oil 412,371 374,385 +10.1
Sumburgh oil 5,980 11,638 -48.6
Total Passengers 418,351 386,023 +8.4

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited manages and operates 10 airports in the North and West of Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Executive. The airports range from the principal hubs at Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh to those at Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay, Tiree and Wick.

The company is responsible for providing airport infrastructure, facilitating lifeline air links, developing air traffic in the region and promoting economic sustainability and social inclusion in Scotland’s remoter communities.

In year ending 31 March 2003 the company’s 10 airports handled more than 864,000 passengers and over 76,000 aircraft movements.

For further information see the www.hial.co.uk website.

See below for full passenger statistics for HIAL airports.