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Transport / Fire engine failure closes inter-island airport

An islander aircraft in front of the hangar at Tingwall Airport. Photo: SICAn islander aircraft in front of the hangar at Tingwall Airport. Photo: SIC

INTER-island flights in Shetland continue to be disrupted after the fire engine providing fire cover at Tingwall Airport developed a fault at the weekend, leading to the cancellation of all flights. 

A replacement part for the fire engine’s pump is expected to arrive in Shetland later this week. Once fitted, air services to the islands should be able to resume.

While the air service is operated by Airtask, the airstrip itself is run by Shetland Islands Council.

The council’s head of infrastructure John Smith said: “We are currently unable to provide fire cover at Tingwall Airport, due to a mechanical breakdown with the pump engine on the fire appliance at the airport.

“This breakdown was unforeseen and is an exceptional circumstance, which means we can’t accept scheduled flights in or out of Tingwall until this is resolved.

“We’re awaiting a replacement part from the mainland, which airport staff will fit and test as soon as possible – hopefully by Thursday at the latest.

“We’re in regular contact with aircraft operators Airtask to restore normal airport operations when we can. We’d like to apologise to any passengers affected.”