IT is estimated that re-introducing a scheduled air service linking Skye with either Glasgow or Edinburgh will require capital investment of between £1.15 million and £1.36m.

Annual running costs of supporting the service and running the airport are estimated at between £880,000-£980,000.

Research found a service would offer significant economic benefits to Skye and Lochalsh, with the potential for more than 15,000 passengers using it each year.

The preferred option involves using a 19-seat aircraft to operate 12 flights per week to Glasgow from the existing airstrip near Broadford.

Ranald Robertson, director of HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, said that research “clearly demonstrates a demand for the service but we must be realistic in what we can achieve with the funds likely to be available”.

He added: “Operating a service on a trial basis is going to be more affordable and our focus now must be to identify the funding to get the trial service off the ground.”