Stornoway Airport welcomes US Consul as part of visit to Western Isles

Historic links between the Western Isles and the United States were commemorated as part of a visit to Lewis and Harris.

Michael Feldman, Consul to Scotland, was a special guest of Stornoway Airport, on Wednesday (October 19). Mr Feldman also met Comhairle nan Eilean Siar convener Kenny Macleod and transportation and infrastructure committee chair Uisdean Robertson.

The party heard from senior air traffic controller Graeme Fergus, who recounted the war-time connection between the American and British armed forces and the 80th anniversary of the first arrival of US airmen at Stornoway in 1942.

Stornoway Airport opened in 1934 and was used by both the RAF and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) following the outbreak of World War Two, when the original grass runways were upgraded and paved.

Senior  Air Traffic Cotroller, Graeme Fergus said: “Stornoway played a key strategic role during the war, as it was one of the first land bases available to US forces after they crossed the Atlantic.

“US forces use the airport to this day and we explained Stornoway Airport’s continuing role in connecting the Western Isles to the mainland.”

During the visit Mr Feldman also met a number of local buisnesses and toured their facilities.

US Consul, Michael Feldman said: “It has been a fascinating visit to Western Isles and I greatly enjoyed the warm hospitality, stunning landscapes, and incredible local history. There are so many links between the United States and Scotland, perfectly illustrated by the variety of businesses and talented individuals we have met during our time here, all selling to US markets. There is a rich connection between the two countries that our consulate in Edinburgh is eager to promote.”

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar convener, Kenny Macleod, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Consul to the Western Isles and be part of marking the 80th anniversary of US forces deployment at Stornoway Airport.

“The Consul was well informed about the history and the importance of Stornoway as a military air base during that period. The strategic location of the island, controlling the North Atlantic and the routes from Loch Ewe, where British convoys assembled, was vital.”

Pictured: Comhairle nan Eilean Siar transportation and infrastructure committee chair Uisdean Robertson, convener Kenny Macleod,  Michael Feldman, US Consul to Scotland, Stornoway airport senior air traffic controller Graeme Fergus.

Published: 21st October 2022