Argyll and Bute Council West Coast Air Services PSO

This consultation closed on 1st May 2022 - thank you to everyone who took part to give us their views

Help shape the future of Argyll and Bute air services ahead of awarding a new contract for the service from 2023 onwards. 

Argyll and Bute Council operates the West Coast Air Service to Coll, Colonsay, Tiree and Islay.

Delivering medical equipment, transporting patients to hospital, transferring school pupils and welcoming tourists are just some of the critical roles air services play across Argyll and Bute. Providing essential air services is particularly significant across Argyll and Bute where 56% or 26,000 annual referrals are to hospitals within the central belt. Feedback will help achieve the most benefit possible for all users, subject to the available budget. Despite the air services being non statutory, Argyll and Bute Council operate Oban, Coll and Colonsay airports at a budget cost of £700k per annum. In addition, the Council subsidise the air services by over £2m over the length of the contract (4 Years).

The consultation considers a number of issues including:

  • Current use of the air service
  • Frequency of flights taken
  • Preferred flight times and days
  • The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver goods 

To complement traditional air services, the Council is developing plans to create a UAV Hub at Oban Airport. The use of drones to deliver essential council services would reduce both time and operating costs. During lockdown, the use of drones to fly medical samples from the islands to NHS facilities saved 11,000 in waiting time. Royal Mail is interested in UAV’s as part of their service delivery and have undertaken trials from Oban to Mull. The Council is keen to hear opinion regarding future potential use of drones across Argyll and Bute.

The consultation will run until 1st May 2022

8 Apr 2022 to 1 May 2022