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Transport / HIAL goes out to tender for new Sumburgh rescue craft and body scanner

Sumburgh Airport.

PLANS for a new fast rescue boat at Sumburgh Airport are a step closer after Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) went out to tender on the project.

The airport operator confirmed back in 2019 that the water rescue facilities at the Shetland airport were in line for an upgrade.

It came after HIAL carried out a review of its water rescue capabilities at its network of airports.

The launchpad for the review was the fatal helicopter accident in the waters off Sumburgh in 2013, in which the airport’s rigid inflatable water rescue craft was used.

But it took almost an hour to reach the scene due to tidal conditions, and a couple of crew members were injured during the operation.

Meanwhile, HIAL is also seeking a body scanner for Sumburgh Airport, as well as Inverness.

The scanners can show objects on or inside a person’s body without physically removing clothes or making contact.