Scottish Liberal Democrat Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has today launched a petition aimed at halting the current centralisation of air traffic control and introduction of remote control towers and calls for a better modernisation programme for Highlands and Islands airports to be considered.
The launch comes as the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson appeared in front of the public petitions this morning to defend the controversial project. Under current proposals, air traffic control services are being centralised away from Shetland to Inverness with jobs being relocated away from island communities including Shetland.
Last week it was also revealed that over £6 million has been spent on the controversial project while a recent survey showed that 90% of respondents were against the move.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
“The plans by HIAL have been met with legitimate concerns. Despite this HIAL, a company wholly owned by Scottish Ministers, has continued ploughing forward with this project. The actions by HIAL are tone deaf and this petition aims to amplify the voices of those who are opposed to the project.
“Highlands and Islands Airport Limited’s own consultants said the project is both risky and costly, while a report last year from the Prospect Union estimated that £18 million will be taken away from island communities.
“This project is bad for Shetland and must be paused.”