Stornoway airport is seeing 'something like a return to normality' today (Monday 6 July) as regular scheduled services return to a new timetable.
A regular direct daily flight to Glasgow recommenced today, Monday 6 July, departing every morning from Monday to Saturday. On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays there'll also be an afternoon departure to Glasgow, while Sunday will see a single afternoon flight.
The weekday service between Inverness, Benbecula and Stornoway also becomes daily from today.
Airport manager Duncan Smith said some elements are still to resume their regular service, with the café due to re-open next Monday (13 July) and car hire services currently operating on an as-needed basis.
Safety protocols will be followed by everyone, whether staff or passengers, while they are inside the terminal or on board planes.
Duncan Smith said the new measures have been put in place to minimise risk to passengers and staff. He said: "The measures include some restrictions – only travelling passengers will be permitted into the terminal building and they must wear a face covering at all times throughout their journey.
“We have installed screens throughout the terminal building and physical distancing measures are in place. Regular deep cleaning of the airport buildings is also being carried out.
"There will also be face masks and hand sanitiser available as people enter and, if they wish to carry their own sanitiser, bottles of up to 100ml will be allowed in hand luggage or pockets. Larger bottles must be carried in hold luggage."
Around the airport building, contractors have returned to work on the re-surfacing of the main car park, with parking currently in the side car park. Landscaping of the area at the front of the terminal doors is also under way. Contractors at the airport are also required to adhere to the new procedures.
The total effect is a sense of some normality returning to airport operations, according to Duncan. He said: "We're nowhere near a full schedule, but we are beginning our journey to get back to normal.
“We really have to thank passengers for their co-operation during what has been a very difficult period. Everyone who has travelled with us, and all our staff, have been fantastic.
“It's good to see things start to return to how they should be and we do wish to assure our passengers and staff that we are doing everything we can to protect our community and minimise risk within the airport."