THE INCOME taken in through car parking charges at Sumburgh Airport dropped by nearly 90 per cent as a result of the pandemic.
While the figures are to be expected with less air traffic flowing through Sumburgh, it is a dent on the income at the airport.
Freedom of information figures obtained by Shetland News showed that from March – when the first local Covid cases were confirmed – to the end of 2020, a total of £10,624 was received through the £3 a day car parking charge.
The same period in 2019 saw airport operator Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) take in nearly £78,000.
HIAL noted that for a number of months in the summer of 2020 car parking charges were suspended at Sumburgh Airport.
The £3 a day car parking charge was imposed at Sumburgh Airport in December 2018, while the fee was also put in place at Kirkwall and Stornoway.
The charge at Sumburgh was greeted with anger by local politicians who felt the location of the airport, and the public transport connections, meant a parking fee was unfair.
Government-owned HIAL, which depends on subsidies to run its loss-making airports, defended the introduction of the charge as a way to increase revenue.
The figures, meanwhile, show that in 2019 the most profitable months for the parking charge at Sumburgh were October (£10,862) and July (£9,545).
The month with the lowest income that year was September, with £6,129 received.
Parking is free for blue badge holders, NHS patients and people living in Shetland who require taking inter-island ferries to flights to get to Sumburgh.
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 540 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.Support Shetland News