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Scatsta Airport
Scatsta terminal.jpg
Terminal buildings
Airport type Public
Operator SERCO-IAL Ltd. on behalf of BP
Serves Lerwick
Elevation AMSL 81 ft / 25 m
Coordinates 60°25′58″N 001°17′46″W / 60.43278°N 1.29611°W / 60.43278; -1.29611
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 4,462 1,360 Asphalt

Scatsta Airport (IATA: SCSICAO: EGPM), is a commercial airport on Shetland in Scotland located 24 miles (39 km) north-northwest of Lerwick and 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Sullom Voe Terminal.

Scatsta Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P777) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (BP Exploration Operating Company Limited).[1]



The airport was first developed in 1940 as RAF Scatsta, a Royal Air Force fighter plane base to support Coastal Command flying boat operations at RAF Sullom Voe, and was the most northerly base in the British Isles.

Construction started in Spring 1940, of two runways. One was 1,400 yards long on a heading of 130 degrees and the other was 1,510 yards long on a heading of 250 degrees. The first runway was completed in April 1941. The main contractor for the construction of the aerodrome was the Zetland County Council.

In November 1944 Scatsta was used as a support base and diversion point for Lancasters from squadron 617, the famous "Dam Busters", led by Wing Commander J. B. Tait, on "Operation Catechism", which bombed and sank the Tirpitz near Håkøy Island, Tromsø.

After World War II Scatsta aerodrome lay dormant except for the landing of a US Coastguard Hercules on 24 May 1969, in connection with the LORAN navigation station which had been established at the north west end of runway 13/31.

It was abandoned after World War II, but reinstated as a civilian airport in 1978 to support the Shetland oil industry, and the Sullom Voe oil terminal in particular. It is the fifth largest airport in Scotland, ranked by international passengers.[2] This classification may be on the basis of helicopter flights to and from oil rigs in the Norwegian and/ or Faroes sectors of the North Atlantic/ North Sea oil region, or some classification of flights to foreign-registered (though UK-crewed and serviced) oil rigs as being "foreign" destinations. The only fixed wing route operating regularly from Scatsta is the 7 or 8 times daily shuttle to and from Aberdeen.

The balance between oil service flights and "civilian" flights can be judged from the fact that the airport service area has no bar (the nearest is some 3 miles (4.8 km) away), no taxi or bus service (to anywhere) and three large rooms for helicopter passengers to don their survival suits before embarking.

The first flight of the day from Scatsta to Aberdeen has no passengers from offshore – and can have anything up to about 60 passengers during the height of the season, although the figure is more commonly between 15 and 25 on an average day.

See also


  1. ^ Civil Aviation Authority Aerodrome Ordinary Licences
  2. ^ UK Airport Statistics: 2005 - annual | Data | Economic Regulation

External links



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