Argyll and Bute Council appeals to Coll islanders to save air service by taking up airport safety roles
Residents on a small Scottish island are being asked to fill essential airport safety roles if they want to save their air service.
Flights to and from Coll are under threat unless islanders fill vital airport firefighter roles.
Argyll and Bute Council advertised four posts each on Coll and Colonsay that are needed for their airports to meet Civil Aviation Authority regulations.
While the council received a good level of response from Colonsay, on Coll the roles are yet to be filled.
Coll has had an air service for 12 years and the council currently operates flights between Coll and Tiree and Oban.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) previously provided fire safety cover through an agreement made with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service which allowed SFRS volunteer firefighters to also cover the airport.
Following a review of this arrangement, Argyll and Bute Council and the SFRS agreed that community safety and resilience would be improved with dedicated airport firefighter roles.
These newly posts bring together fire safety and grounds operation duties, with the council-funded training provided to those who take them up.
Councillor Robin Currie, the council’s policy lead for islands, said: “As a council we are doing all we can to make an air service from Coll possible.
“Despite financial challenges, we have put funding in place to run a service.
“We can’t make this happen on our own though and so are appealing for the help of islanders in delivering a service that works for them.
“We will make training available, so that local people have the chance to develop additional skills and the expertise that is needed by the island is kept on the island.
“We are asking islanders to get involved in a service delivered by the local community for the local community.”