Report on the social and cultural importance of remote and peripheral airports.
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BLOICE, L., BAXTER, G. and GRAY, D. 2017. Report on the social and cultural importance of remote and peripheral airports. Aberdeen: SPARA Project, Deliverable 7.1.
This report presents the results of qualitative research conducted as Activity 7.1 within Work Package 7 of the SPARA 2020 project. It specifically explores the social and cultural importance of remote and peripheral airports, the effects of losing a local airport on a community, and the barriers which may exclude certain members of the community from using the airport. The research consisted of five case studies conducted in communities in the Northern Periphery region. Of these five case studies, four were conducted in operational airports: Kirkwall and Benbecula Airports, Scotland; Donegal Airport, Ireland; and Sundsvall-Timrå Airport, Sweden. The other took place on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, where scheduled air services ceased in 1988. Exhibitions of old and contemporary photographs of the local airports were held in the five communities. Researchers engaged with the individuals viewing the photos, prompting them to share their memories and experiences of using their local airport. These exhibitions were supplemented by focus groups and by face-to-face and telephone interviews. Overall, the researchers spoke to 575 individuals during the five case studies. The main themes emerging from these discussions were around: the impact of local history and heritage; the airport as a local employer; the airport's serendipitous social function; lifeline services; non-aeronautical uses of airport terminals; and barriers to use of the airport.