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Airport car park charges on hold

PLANS to impose car parking charges at Sumburgh and other airports in the north of Scotland have been put on hold following the public outcry they caused.

Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) managing director Inglis Lyon confirmed on Thursday that they were not actively pursuing the proposal, which was designed to help meet the £1 million shortfall in the organisation’s government funding last year.

However Mr Lyon warned that if budget constraints continue then HIAL may have to look at the plan again. “There are no definite plans to introduce car parking charges at Sumburgh airport at this point in time and we have balanced the budget without any car parking charges being taken into account,” he said.

“Charges will however, continue to be seen as a possible source of income and the decision is always under review.”

The move raised such huge opposition in local communities throughout the region that HIAL could not muster the support to impose the charges.

In Orkney’s Kirkwall airport, HIAL had gone so far as to install the charging equipment, including barriers, but they have never been activated.

Kirkwall airport suffers from having a small car park that is frequently used by people who leave their cars for extended periods of time.