Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has welcomed reports that industrial action has been suspended after talks between the Prospect Union and Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL). A “framework” for discussion has been agreed to establish a new way forward for modernising air traffic control services.
The ongoing dispute over HIAL's proposed Air Traffic Management Strategy proposal led to the industrial action. The proposal would centralise air traffic control services with airports such Sumburgh served by a remote tower in Inverness.
HIAL's centralisation plans have faced continued opposition within the communities affected. Ms Wishart has previously called on the Scottish Government to listen to communities and rethink the proposed Air Traffic Management Strategy.
Ms Wishart said:
“I am pleased there will be space for discussion between HIAL and Prospect.
“I am sure the news will be welcomed by passengers especially as we face winter weather likely to cause delays.
“Centralisation of air traffic control services has been contentious from day one.
“HIAL and Scottish Ministers should take this opportunity to listen to communities and reassess their thinking.”
Notes to Editors
Read the joint statement between HIAL and Prospect here.