|IATA: LSI – ICAO: EGPB|
|Owner/Operator||Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL)|
|Location||Sumburgh, Shetland, Scotland|
|Elevation AMSL||21 ft / 6 m|
|Sources: UK AIP at NATS|
Sumburgh Airport (IATA: LSI, ICAO: EGPB) is the main airport serving Shetland in Scotland. It is located on the southern tip of the mainland, 17 NM (31 km; 20 mi) south of Lerwick. The airport is owned by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) and served by Loganair (under franchise to FlyBe) as well as sometimes seasonally by Atlantic Airways.
The airport is unusual in that it has a 550 m (1,804 ft) helicopter runway as opposed to usual helipad. The western end of runway 09 crosses the A970 road between Sumburgh and the northern mainland; access is controlled by a level crossing with barriers closed whenever a flight is taking off or landing.
On 1 April 1995, ownership of the Company transferred from the UK Civil Aviation Authority to the Secretary of State for Scotland and subsequently to the Scottish Ministers.
HIAL receives subsidies from the Scottish Ministers in accordance with Section 34 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 and is sponsored by the Transport Directorate which is one of the Finance and Sustainable Growth Directorates of the Scottish Government. Annual Reports and Accounts are submitted to the Scottish Ministers.
Sumburgh Links was surveyed and the grass strips laid out by Capt. E. E. Fresson in 1936: the Airport was opened on 3 June of that year with the inaugural flight from Aberdeen (Kintore) by the De Havilland Dragon Rapide G-ACPN piloted by Fresson himself. It was also one of the first airfields to have RDF facilities due to the frequency of low cloud and fog coupled with the proximity of Sumburgh Head. The building of runways was at the instigation of Capt. Fresson who had proved to the Navy at Hatson that to maintain all round landing facilities over the winter months runways were essential. This was taken up by the RAF after the obvious success of the Hatson (Orkney) experiment.
The former RAF Sumburgh airfield had two runways, the longest being 800 yd (730 m), and the shorter running a length of 600 yd (550 m) from shore-line to shore-line. No. 404 Squadron operated Beaufighter Mark VI and X aircraft from this station on coastal raids against Axis shipping off the coast of Norway and in the North Sea.
Airlines and destinations
|Directflight||Seasonal: Fair Isle |
operated by Loganair
|Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow International, Inverness, Kirkwall
- Maritime and Coastguard Agency (Her Majesty's Coastguard)
- Bristow Helicopters
- Bond Helicopters (Private SAR for BP)
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled|| % Change
2011 / 12
|1||- Aberdeen Airport||75,203||9|
|2||- Edinburgh Airport||36,914||4|
|3||- Glasgow Airport||17,964||nm|
|4||- Kirkwall Airport||7,935||12|
|5||- Inverness Airport||4,244||188|
|6||- Bergen Airport||1,628||31|
|7||- Copenhagen Airport||140||nm|
|8||- Fair Isle Airport||103||3|
|Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority|
Incidents and accidents
- UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch recommended a safety audit of City Star Airlines after a serious incident in which a Dornier 328 crew flew close to cliffs and failed to respond correctly to terrain warnings on approach to Sumburgh Airport after a flight from Aberdeen.[when?] The aircraft landed safely. The captain involved was suspended and asked to resign after an investigation.
- 31 July 1979: Crash of Dan-Air Flight 0034, a Hawker Siddeley 748 series 1 (registration G-BEKF) operating an oil industry support flight. The aircraft failed to become airborne and crashed into the sea. The accident was due to the elevator gust-lock having become re-engaged, preventing the aircraft from rotating into a flying attitude. The aircraft was destroyed and 17 persons died.
- 6 November 1986: British International Helicopters Chinook crash. A Boeing 234LR Chinook helicopter crashed 2.5 mi (4.0 km) east of the airport. Only two people survived with 45 lives being lost.
- 29 March 1981: Potez 840 F-BMCY operated by Club Aéronautique de Paris made a wheels-up landing at Sumburgh. Damage was minimal and the aircraft was parked on a stand for many months. The four Astazou engines and other useful parts were removed and the airframe dragged off to a quiet corner of the airfield to be abandoned. When the runway was extended it was saved and now resides in a private garden in North Roe in the north of Shetland. Only 8 Potez 840s were built.
- 23 August 2013: A Super Puma L2, operated by CHC for Total, carrying 16 passengers and 2 crew from the Borgsten Dolphin oil platform, crashed about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of the airport at 18:17 BST. The cause remains under investigation. Four of those aboard were killed.
- Sumburgh - EGPB
- Flight International 20–26 March 2007
- "Shetland helicopter crash: Four dead named". BBC News. 24 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- Sumburgh Airport - Official website
- Illustrated entry in Shetlopedia
- Photographs of aircraft at Sumburgh Airport
- Information on World War II aircraft that crashed in and around Shetland