PLANS have been unanimously approved for the build of a new railway station at Inverness Airport.
The approval will see the construction of a two-platform station adjacent to the airport on the Aberdeen-Inverness line, with step-free access via a footbridge with lifts.
BAM Nuttall and AECOM carried out the station design on behalf of Network Rail, with the facility set to form part of the Inverness Airport Business Park – which covers an area of 200 hectares of land earmarked for development as a business/research development park, with a hotel and conference centre.
The new town of Tornagrain is located to the south of the business park, with an anticipated capacity of 4960 new homes as well as shops, schools and community facilities to be delivered over the next 30-50 years, with an eventual predicted population of 10,000.
Network Rail said that new stations can act as a catalyst to further investment, regeneration and economic development for local areas. It said that the construction of the new Inverness Airport station will ‘enhance’ the area by giving travellers another route to the airport, which sits seven miles from the city centre.
Graeme Dey, minister for transport, said, “The Scottish Government has committed around £14 million towards this key new station and this is another significant step towards delivery of this important project.
“By providing this kind of sustainable travel interchange, we can bring real benefits to the region by making Inverness Airport more accessible for passengers and staff alike.
“It will also deliver sustainable travel links to the growing Inverness Airport Business Park and the new town of Tornagrain at a time when we continue to pursue a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Graeme Stewart, Network Rail’s sponsor for Inverness Airport station project, added, “We are pleased Highland Council has advised that this project can move forward. It is an exciting development that has the potential to transform travel options to the airport and the local community it will serve.
“The new Inverness Airport station will allow easier access and improved connectivity for passengers and this a significant milestone in the progression of the project. Now that we have clarity on the planning decision, we can move to get on-site as quickly as possible and work with our partners to deliver this new station for our customers and the wider community.”