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Barra (Northbay)


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Local inhabitants maintained for many years that the airport’s safety was governed by seagulls. Birds walking on the beach ensured an aircraft could land but, if they looked instead to be paddling, greater care had to be taken – and if the seagulls seemed to be clearly swimming, then it was straight back to Glasgow for the aircraft.

Also known as: Barra Airport / Northbay Airport / Traigh Mhor
County: Western Isles
Current Status: Aviation
Date: Opened 1934
Current Use: Active
Used By: Civil
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved
Aircraft Roles: Airliner

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/09/2011):

  • Barra and Vatersay Historical Society
  • Car Hire Hebrides/Barra Car Hire
  • Castlebay Community Library
  • Highlands and Islands Airports Limited - operator
  • Northbay Community Council

Main unit(s) present:

  • BEA
  • Flybe
  • Loganair
  • Northern and Scottish Airways
  • Scottish Airways

The control tower, fire station and terminal at Barra, 3 August 2015.

A day in the life of Glasgow Airport, including footage of Barra, 1984. Courtesy of Allen McLaughlin

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