The aim of the proposal is to establish a high-tech base for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to transport medicines, biological samples and cargo between mainland Scotland and the region’s island communities.

Funding of £170,000 from the UK Government Community Renewal funding enabled Argyll and Bute Council to develop a business case and deliver a detailed planning application with full design and costings.

The funding award led to the council teaming up in June with drone specialists Skyports to trial the use of UAVs for the delivery of school meals. Flying from Oban Airport, the successful pilot involved flying freshly prepared meals between two schools in Oban, a distance of 1.5 kilometres.

Cllr Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: ‘Establishing the UK’s first UAV logistics hub in Oban would be a huge boost for Argyll and Bute in terms of creating highly valuable skilled jobs and providing skills training for future generations.

‘We have seen first-hand how successful drone trails are delivering vital supplies and saving precious time for our remote and island communities. Planning approval takes us another highly significant step closer to creating a facility which has the potential to become a centre of excellence for this innovative technology.’