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Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Sir Elton incurs airport charge
Sir Elton John in Inverness. Picture by Andrew Smith
Sir Elton John was a hit with the Highlands audience
Sir Elton John incurred a fee of almost 1,000 to keep Inverness Airport open after hours so he could jet out after playing a concert.

The singer arrived and departed after its 2200 BST curfew for his gig at Inverness's Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) charged 80.50 every 15 minutes the airport had to stay open.

Sir Elton flew in on Saturday for Sunday's concert which drew a crowd of 18,000 people.

HIAL said the fee covered the cost of air traffic control and firefighting services and was charged to the aircraft's operator.

The singer travelled to the Highlands by private jet. The cost of keeping the airport open after hours for the aircraft totalled 966.

'First class'

Police said the event - one of the biggest of its kind to be held in Inverness - went without any major issues.

Northern Constabulary said there were a total of three arrests for drunk and incapable and breach of the peace matters.

Inverness area commander, Superintendent David O'Connor, said he was delighted with the attitude of the fans.

Crowds at the Caledonian Stadium. Picture from InvernessFest
Police said they were pleased with the attitude of the crowd

He said: "We implemented a road traffic management system prior to the event which was widely publicised in an effort to reduce congestion around the venue.

"Clearly when 18,000 people are exiting an area there will be associated traffic issues, however the plan ensured that delays were kept to a minimum."

Supt O'Connor added: "The mood of the crowd was first class and although there were a small number of arrests, from a policing perspective, the concert was very positive in terms of public safety."

Road restrictions for Elton gig
11 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Sir Elton to perform at festival
15 Jan 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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