Break-in at island airport famed for stunning beach runway

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BARRA airport, famed for its iconic beach runway, is at the centre of the island’s first break-in in living memory.

Locals are said to be “in shock” after sweet toothed thieves raided the cafe in the tiny terminal building.

A flight was delayed and part of the airport cordoned off as a crime scene until CID from Stornoway arrived to investigate.

 

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Part of the airport cordoned off as a crime scene. Image by Robert Stuthers

 

The airport – which serves the 1,000 inhabitants of Barra in the Western Isles – is world famous for its stunning beach landing strip surrounded by crystal clear water.

Police are now investigating after cash and chocolate was stolen from the cafe at the airport terminal sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

“There hasn’t been anything similar, ever,” said Chris Dillerstone, the postmaster at Castlebay Post Office.

 

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Police are now investigating after cash and chocolate was stolen from the cafe. Image by David Hignett

 

“It’s very surprising. People are in shock about it. Things like that doesn’t happen on Barra.”

He continued: “The flight was delayed and the airport cafe closed all day yesterday until CID turned up last night [Monday] from Stornoway.”

He added: “Nobody has got any information about who is responsible. If it was an islander or a tourist?”

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, who lives on Barra, said: “It’s been quite a surprise. It’s the first break in on the island for years.”

 

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Barra Airport is the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway. Image by Doug Lee

 

He added: “It’s amazingly rare. It’s the talk of the island.

Speaking about the break-in a source on the island said: “It looked like someone went through the toilet window.

“The float from the till and confectionery was stolen. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Bounty.”

A Police Spokesman said: “There was a reported break-in to the cafe at Barra Airport sometime between 21.55 on 23rd and 11.15 on the 24th.”

He said there was “no damage” to the terminal due to the break-in.

The spokesman continued: “It was items of food, a sum of money and a notebook computer reported stolen.

“Enquires are ongoing. If anyone has information about the incident please contact police on 101.”

Barra Airport is the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway.

Planes can only land when the tide is out but the airport on the northern tip of the island it is a big draw for tourists who travel from all over the world to experience it.

In 2011 it came top of a poll of the world’s top airport approaches by PrivateFly.com. In 2015 it came was listed fourth in the same poll.

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