Barra airport celebrates 80 years of beach flights

A Scottish airport with the world's only beach runway used for scheduled flights is to celebrate its 80th anniversary today.

Barra aiport is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Picture: Contributed/Transport Scotland

Barra airport on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, is celebrating eight decades of island community links to mainland Scotland with a time capsule burial beside the beach runway.

The event will be attended by Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP, as well as local dignitaries.

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The iconic airport’s 80th Birthday party celebrations include goody bags for all passengers and an airport picnic for Barra Airport employees and their families.

The isle of Barra is in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Picture: Google Map

Earlier this year the the white sands of Traigh Mhor, which double as the Hebridean island’s runway, helped the tiny airport to fourth place in an international poll of the most scenic airports in the world.

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Inglis Lyon, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, said: “I’m very pleased to mark Barra Airport’s 80th anniversary with a community-led celebration.

“The airport delivers a vital service to over 10,000 passengers a year and opens up opportunities to connect island businesses with the mainland, supporting the local economy.

The isle of Barra is in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Picture: Google Map

“The iconic Barra beach landing attracts a great deal of attention from film makers around the world and the local team here are always so accommodating, helping to promote the island as a bucket list destination while at the same time, operating and managing an airport with growing passenger numbers.”

Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be part of Barra Airport’s 80th birthday celebrations, helping highlight the important role this iconic airport plays for the island.

“The unique and spectacular beach runway is admired around the world and is part of the fantastic tourism experience on offer in the Western Isles.

Barra Airport is served by Loganair, who fly the Government-owned Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter propeller planes, regularly making the 75-minute journey to and from the picturesque beach. There are normally two return flights between Glasgow and Barra per day, with each timed to coincide with low tide.