The number of energy-industry flights landing and taking off at Wick airport almost doubled last month thanks to a contract to service a major oil field in the West Shetland basin.
Oil workers have been flowing through the airport since before Christmas after a contract was struck with operator Premier Oil, Aker Solutions and Far North Aviation to service the Solan field, contributing towards an 86% growth in passenger numbers in January.
Hundreds of workers were transferred every week from Caithness to the Safe Scandinavia flotel, temporarily stationed in the Solan field. Wick airport handled 3,812 passengers in January, almost 1,800 more than January 2014.
William Sutherland, Airport Manager, said: “We are grateful to Premier Oil, Aker Solutions and Far North Aviation during what has been an exceptionally busy time for us. January’s passenger numbers underline the airport’s importance as a hub for the energy sector and, more importantly, its ability to react rapidly and efficiently as a team to meet the fast changing needs of the energy sector.”
Inglis Lyon, Managing Director, HIAL, said: “Wick airport is a particularly important gateway for the energy sector. Our investment this year underlines our commitment to grow the airport and consolidate its status as a hub for the oil, gas and renewables sector.”