What better place to discuss strategy…


…than the idyllic location of Barra.

Firstly can I say thanks to the team at Barra for hosting the Board meeting last week.  As ever the setting was stunning and everybody was on form.

Whilst on Barra the Board considered the outputs from a number of workstreams, our strategy work, the work with Cranfield University and the results from our customer survey. Having got agreement to the strategy, which has been developed by members of the senior management team and the Board, l will now brief our airport managers at this weeks’ managers meeting and seek their input also.

I am hoping to be in a position to issue a draft document before the end of the year. Following this, any other issues staff would like to raise will be encouraged to do so during my roadshows at the end of the year. The format of the roadshows will be similar to last time and allows our staff the opportunity to speak open and frankly, about issues they feel help the airport work well, could be improved upon, or stopped altogether.

Following the last series we addressed a number of issues, including vehicles, rosters, equipment and welfare facilities. Hopefully these things have moved on and have no doubt been replaced by others. Regardless, it’ll be good to hear what’s going on and I look forward to catching up with our teams.

For the week ahead, we have a couple of jobs to complete. In the first instance it is the managers meeting and as usual we have a relatively full diary with visits from SEPA to discuss our winter operations and plans for the same and a visit from Helios.

This week will also see me attend the cross party aviation group in Edinburgh on the 4th. It ought to be an interesting discussion given that Air Passenger Duty (APD) and Brexit are on the agenda.

As far as we’re concerned on both subjects, anything less than what we have at the moment is a backward step and to be avoided at all costs.

Last week I also had some time with Hitrans and Network Rail to agree timelines and funding for the new rail station at Dalcross. As you might expect there are a number of interdependencies, none insurmountable and with a fair wind it ought to be open in 2020. This is a fantastic addition to the area and complements our increased business activity, both at the airport and on the business park. The Co-op have now been confirmed as the first landside tenant on the business park, which will serve to attract additional businesses onsite as the months progress. Good news!

On a financial note, just to let you know that our accounts are published tomorrow and no doubt there will be some PR and hopefully positive at that, as we have shown a reducing loss.

Lastly, Mike Cantlay our Chair will be leaving us from today to take up the Chairperson role at the Scottish Funding Council. As yet, we do not have an interim Chair but hope to make an announcement soon.