Wick Airport

Summary

Wick John O' Groats Airport (IATA: WIC, ICAO: EGPC) (Scottish Gaelic: Port-adhair Inbhir Ùige Taigh Iain Ghròt) is located one nautical mile (two kilometres) north of the town of Wick, at the north-eastern extremity of the mainland of Scotland. It is owned and maintained by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited. The airport provides commercial air travel connections for Caithness, with scheduled services to Aberdeen Airport and, until early 2020, Edinburgh. It remains regularly used by helicopters servicing local offshore oil operations and the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm. It also serves as a stop-over for light aircraft ferry flights between Europe and North America via Iceland. The airport also operates an out of hours call-out service for air ambulances, coastguard and police flights.

Wick John O' Groats Airport

Port-adhair Inbhir Ùige Taigh Iain Ghròt (Scottish Gaelic)
Summary
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorHIAL
ServesWick, Caithness
LocationWick, Scotland, UK
Elevation AMSL126 ft / 38 m
Coordinates58°27′32″N 003°05′35″W / 58.45889°N 3.09306°W / 58.45889; -3.09306
Websitehial.co.uk
Map
EGPC is located in Highland
EGPC
EGPC
Location in Highland
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13/31 1,825 5,988 Grooved Asphalt
Statistics (2022)
Passengers6,935
Passenger change 2021-22Increase 38,428%
Aircraft movements875
Movements change 2021-22Increase 43,650%
Sources: UK AIP at NATS[1]
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority[2]

History edit

Wick was originally a grass airfield, used by Captain E. E. Fresson's Highland Airways Ltd. (later Scottish Airways Ltd.) from 1933 until 1939.

Requisitioned by the Air Ministry during the Second World War, the airfield was extended with hard runways, hangars, and other buildings. The airfield was administered by No. 18 Group, RAF Coastal Command and No. 13 Group, RAF Fighter Command and known as Royal Air Force Wick (RAF Wick). A satellite airfield existed at RAF Skitten.

On 21 May 1941, a photographic reconnaissance Supermarine Spitfire piloted by Flying Officer Michael F. Suckling took off from Wick, and flew to Norway, in search of the German battleship Bismarck. If Bismarck was to break out into the North Atlantic, she would present a significant risk to the ships supplying Britain. 320 miles to the east of Wick, F/O Suckling found and photographed her, hiding in Grimstadfjord.[3] This information enabled the Royal Navy to order HMS Hood and other ships, as well as aircraft, to take positions intended to track Bismarck, and prevent her from entering the North Atlantic. In ensuing battles, Hood was sunk, and, later, Bismarck.

German battleships and battle cruisers never again entered the North Atlantic, partly because of continual reconnaissance flights by the RAF of German naval activity. Many of these flights originated at Wick. On 5 March 1942, RAF reconnaissance pilot Sandy Gunn (a native of Auchterarder, Perthshire), was shot down in his Spitfire on a flight from Wick over German naval installations in Norway. He survived and became a prisoner of war, but two years later he was executed after participating in the "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III.

The following units were here at some point:

Units

Airlines and destinations edit

Loganair operated regular flights from Wick between 1976 and 2020, with the final flight to Edinburgh departing on 27 March 2020.[36]

The Scottish Government announced on 4 February 2021, that they would provide up to £4 million to the Highland Council in order to reintroduce flights to and from Wick Airport.[37]

Eastern Airways began operating the public service obligation flight to Aberdeen on 11 April 2022.

AirlinesDestinations
Eastern AirwaysAberdeen

Statistics edit

Annual passenger traffic at WIC airport. See Wikidata query.
Busiest routes to and from Wick Airport in 2022[38]
Rank Airport Passengers handled 2021–22 Change
1 Aberdeen Airport 6,951  New Route

References edit

Citations edit

  1. ^ "NATS | AIS – Home".
  2. ^ "Airport data 2022 | UK Civil Aviation Authority". caa.co.uk.
  3. ^ Conyers, Roy (2003). Eyes of the RAF. Sutton Publishing. p. 118. ISBN 0750932562.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Wick". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  5. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 24.
  6. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 32.
  7. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 38.
  8. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 39.
  9. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 41.
  10. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 43.
  11. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 44.
  12. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 51.
  13. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 56.
  14. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 58.
  15. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 61.
  16. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 72.
  17. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 75.
  18. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 77.
  19. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 79.
  20. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 81.
  21. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 83.
  22. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 85.
  23. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 86.
  24. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 89.
  25. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 90.
  26. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 93.
  27. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 94.
  28. ^ a b c Jefford 1988, p. 95.
  29. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 99.
  30. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 100.
  31. ^ Jefford 1988, p. 101.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 249.
  33. ^ Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 253.
  34. ^ a b Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 130.
  35. ^ Sturtivant, Hamlin & Halley 1997, p. 145.
  36. ^ Hendry, Alan (17 March 2020). "Loganair to axe Wick to Edinburgh service". John O'Groat Journal. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  37. ^ Ross, John (4 February 2021). "Multi-million-pound plan to bring new routes to Wick Airport". The Press and Journal. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Domestic Air Passenger Traffic To and From Reporting Airports for 2022, comparison with 2021" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 25 March 2023.

Bibliography edit

  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Sturtivant, R; Hamlin, J; Halley, J (1997). Royal Air Force flying training and support units. UK: Air-Britain (Historians). ISBN 0-85130-252-1.

External links edit

  Media related to Wick Airport at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website  
  • Map sources for Wick Airport
  • Official Facebook page
  • Official Twitter Page
  • Wick John O'Groats AIP Entry