Lifeline flight reliability


The Transport Minister has written to the UK Government to highlight the negative impact of Brexit on the performance and safety of lifeline aviation services on the west coast of Scotland.

The Scottish Government supports flights to and from Campbeltown, Tiree and Barra, but reliability on these vital routes has deteriorated over the past year following the UK Government’s withdrawal from the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

Weather conditions on the west coast often mean that visibility is poor, even in the summer months, and EGNOS helped to enable the safe operation of flights in challenging conditions where they couldn’t operate previously. 

Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said:

“These lifeline air services provide a vital link for some of our most remote communities on the west coast, so it’s hugely frustrating that their performance is being impacted as a direct result of Brexit.

“This issue has been raised with me during my meetings with local representatives and I’ve also met with Loganair, who told me the removal of access to EGNOS has led to a doubling of cancellations at our two worst affected airports, Tiree and Barra.

“Safety cannot be compromised, so even though decisions to cancel flights are frustrating, it’s the right thing to do.  We would have greater safety, confidence and reliability if Scotland and the UK retained access to this system.

“If the UK Government won’t reconsider its position on this matter, they need to outline what action they are planning to address the issue – noting the clear negative impact it is having on our island communities.”

Published 10 Aug 2022