A £4m fund has been announced to help reintroduce flights at Wick Airport.
The cash will be made available by the Scottish Government to the Highland Council over the next four years to bring back services to and from the airport.
It is aimed to help the council to take forward plans for Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes, in consultation with local communities and businesses.
The Caithness area was left without scheduled flights after the loss of the Wick/Edinburgh and Wick/Aberdeen routes last year.
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “We recognise the issues faced by the Caithness area with the loss of the flights to and from Edinburgh and Aberdeen, so we are pleased to announce significant funding to help reintroduce flights to Wick Airport.
“This will allow the Highland Council, in partnership with key stakeholders, to take forward plans for Public Service Obligation routes. I am in no doubt they are best placed to determine the services that are required by their communities.
“My officials in Transport Scotland would also be happy to provide advice on the PSO process, as they do with other local authorities which contract air services.
“This offer underlines our strong support for restoring air connectivity to the Caithness and Sutherland area and we look forward to working with the Highland Council to bring flights back to Wick Airport.”