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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 12:13 GMT
Airport PFI deal set for buy-out
Inverness Airport
The airport terminal was built using a PFI contract
The PFI deal which paid for a new terminal at Inverness Airport is set to be dismantled.

State-run Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd plans to buy out the 25-year contract with Inverness Air Terminal Ltd.

Inverness Air Terminal funded the 9.6m terminal in return for the payment of a 3.50 charge for every passenger who flies from the airport.

Transport Minister Nicol Stephen confirmed a buy-out was being sought.

If successful, it would be the second Private Finance Initiative contract to fall by the wayside in Scotland.

Last month, Skye Bridge tolls were abolished after years of protests.

Review complete

The passenger charges which are paid to private funders, Infrastructure Investment, will total 7.5m by the end of the financial year.

Mr Stephen said Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) had recently reviewed the contract and the impact of a buy-out on the airport and the wider economy.

Children mark the abolition of the Skye Bridge tolls
Children mark the abolition of the Skye Bridge tolls

"With the support of the executive, HIAL is now seeking to secure the buy-out of the contract," he said.

"HIAL will be aiming to secure best value for the taxpayer in these sensitive negotiations and an announcement will be made at their conclusion."

Scottish National Party MSP Fergus Ewing wants details of the Labour-approved contract to be published.

He described it as a "duff" deal, saying that "no-one in their right mind would have agreed to the condition that the more successful the airport becomes, the more the terminal's private owners are paid".


SEE ALSO:
Tolls abolished for Skye Bridge
21 Dec 04 |  Scotland
Numbers soar at remote airports
17 May 04 |  Scotland
Royal launch for PFI hospital
09 Oct 03 |  Scotland


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