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Cockle Strand Airport


(Barra Airport)

The flight from Glasgow to Barra in the Outer Hebrides makes a dramatic landing on a unique airfield, the Cockle Strand or Traigh Mhor in Gaelic. A wide sweeping beach at the north end of the island of Barra, the Cockle Strand is the world's only tidal beach airport with scheduled airline services.

Located 5 miles (8 km) NNE of Castlebay, Barra Airport was opened in 1936. The airport includes a modern control tower and terminal building which handles between 8000 and 9000 passengers per year. The airport is operated by the government-owned Highland and Islands Airports Limited and has the International Air Transport Association (IATA) location code "BRR".

Flashing lights and the presence of a wind-sock warn the many users of the beach of imminent aircraft operations. Scheduled flights operate to Glasgow and Benbecula. A debate is ongoing as to whether this unusual airfield should be replaced by a permanent landing strip, which would provide a more reliable emergency air-transport service to the island.


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