Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil and Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara yesterday participated in a telephone conference with Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) to discuss the proposals for the potential relaxation of security at Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown airports.

Isles MP Angus MacNeil said:

“Brendan O’Hara MP and I spoke with Inglis Lyon who had alerted us to the fact that HIAL are planning what was termed a relaxation of security at Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown airports.  This decision has been taken in association with Transport Scotland, The Department for Transport at Westminster, The Civil Aviation Authority and Loganair.

“It is disappointing and it is a step in the wrong direction to be relaxing security.  This is an unnecessary relaxation of a system that works well.  We will now have the situation where you can fly into Glasgow International Airport without prior security checks.

“I will be in contact with Transport Scotland and the Department for Transport to raise a number of concerns; based first on security reasons, also from the point of view of passenger convenience – passengers coming in from Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown, who have connecting flights shouldn’t be inconvenienced by having a lengthy walk through Glasgow Airport.  I will also be raising the fact that potential job losses in fragile rural areas shouldn’t be overlooked either, but of course the security aspect is the most important factor which they should be paying most attention to.”

A view of Barra Airport.ENDS