Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024
Saturday 15 June 2024
 10.9°C   ENE Fresh Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Transport / Start-up delays see HIAL fall well short of car parking income target

Over £100,000 has been generated since the introduction of the £3-a-day charge

Sumburgh Airport car park (stock photo) Photo: Shetland News

DELAYS in introducing the car parking fee at Sumburgh Airport saw operator Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) fall some way short of its target income during the first 14 months of drivers being charged.

Freedom of information figures obtained by Shetland News shows that £100,812.43 was received in car parking income between December 2018, when the controversial £3-a-day fee kicked in, and 31 January this year.

This, however, was some way short of the £256,500 target income for the same period.

HIAL said the shortfall was mainly due to the delays which saw paid parking start later than planned.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said islanders have been “ripped off” and reiterated her call for the charge to be scrapped.

The payback period budgeted for the project at Sumburgh Airport, meanwhile, is estimated to be five years from December 2018.

Government-owned HIAL, which depends on subsidies to run its loss-making airports, has defended the introduction of the charge – which also came into place at Kirkwall and Stornoway – as a way to increase revenue.

HIAL came under fire for not consulting prior to announcing the charge, and also for imposing a parking fee at an airport which provides lifeline services.

Responding to the figures, Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said: “Islanders have been ripped off to the tune of more than £100,000 with this tax on island life.

“The charges should be scrapped. HIAL utterly failed to recognise the realities of living in Shetland when they imposed these charges without consultation or island impact assessment.”

A spokesperson for HIAL said that the company’s “immediate focus is to support the communities that we serve and ensure essential and emergency flights continue”.

“We will examine future requirements for car parking as part of our routine review of facilities at the airport,” they added.

Residents of Shetland’s islands are exempt from the charge, as are blue badge holders and people travelling on NHS journeys.

At the moment income from parking will be well below expectations as Sumburgh Airport has been restricted to essential services during the coronavirus crisis.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.