Official launch for Sumburgh airport after £8m revamp

An airport in Shetland that is a key resource for the oil and gas sector has been officially opened after undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf with Mike Cantlay, chairman of Highland & Islands Airports Limited, at Sumburgh Airport. Picture: Contributed

Transport minister Humza Yousaf marked the take-off of the upgraded Sumburgh Airport after regional airport operator Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) invested nearly £8 million over three years.

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Improvements to the travel hub, located about 25 miles south of Lerwick, include larger security screening areas, upgrades to the main departure lounge and a dedicated area for offshore workers.

Yousaf unveiled a specially commissioned Restin Chair, historically a traditional feature of Shetland homes and made by local crafts business Paparwark Furniture, in the main airport concourse.

The airport provides air links to Scotland’s major cities, Orkney and Norway, and supports the North Sea oil and gas trade via its heliport operations.

HIAL chairman Mike Cantlay said the upgraded facilities “will meet the expectations of both scheduled and oil industry travellers”. He also pointed out that the airport handled 312,000 passengers in 2015-16, jumping to 335,000 by the end of 2016.

He added: “Sumburgh Airport is a vital part of the oil and gas industry’s logistics network and is well placed to benefit from continued activity both to the west and east of Shetland.”