Wick Airport, Scotland, UK, was renamed Wick John O’ Groats Airport on October 4 in a bid to promote it as the gateway to the UK’s most northerly mainland settlement.
The move was suggested by the Airport Consultative Committee in order to reflect the
status of John O’Groats as a world famous tourist destination and highlight the close proximity of the airport to the village, which is undergoing a multi-million pound transformation.
The airport, which handled 28,876 passengers and 4,976 flights in 2011/12 will be
extensively rebranded internally and externally, and online.
Airport operator HIAL hopes the new name will help put the new look John O’ Groats on
the map for inbound visitors. The company is currently in discussion with airlines on possible route expansion in a bid to capitalise on the likely boost to visitor numbers as a result of the redevelopment of John O’ Groats.
Representatives from the local business community and airport management team gathered for a business breakfast at the airport as Wick civic head Councillor Gail Ross and HIAL Chairman Grenville Johnston unveiled the new name.
Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of HIAL, said: “John O’Groats is one of the UK’s most
famous landmarks and it makes perfect sense to incorporate the village in the airport’s name. There are fantastic opportunities ahead for Caithness as a result of the ongoing transformation of John O’ Groats into a world class tourist attraction, and we hope that this move will help support efforts to promote the town and wider region as an inbound tourist destination.
“We are proud of the role that Wick Airport has played in the Caithness & North Sutherland economy over many years. Now, as Wick John O’Groats Airport, it has a name that better reflects its status as the gateway to the northern highlands, and to one of the UK’s most iconic landmarks.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP said: “Wick John O’Groats Airport is the lynchpin in
transport connectivity for Caithness and the north of Scotland generally. This rebranding recognises its role in the areas transport network and is aimed at increasing its recognition factor to a wider audience. It brings together two brands thus increasing awareness with the aim of boosting tourism which brings with it direct benefits for the airport and the two incumbent airlines – Flybe and Eastern Airways. This is a fine example of collaborative working between the local community and airport and I wish it every success in its objective.”
Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Wick
Airport Consultative Committee said: “John O’Groats is an iconic name and the Consultative Committee saw the immense potential of promoting both Caithness and the airport by incorporating this into the airport name. The airport is a fantastic asset to this area and it will play an important role in future developments and opportunities afforded by both the tourism and renewables industries. We are delighted that HIAL has seen this
potential and made this investment to align the airport with these opportunities.”
The airport’s IATA identifying code will remain WIC.