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Tingwall hangar door replaced

Work on installing the new hangar door is almost complete. Photo courtesy of Shetland Islands Council.

SHETLAND Islands Council has confirmed spending of £100,000 on the “emergency” replacement of a hangar door to ensure Tingwall Airport remains safe to use.

Councillors unanimously endorsed the plans at Monday’s policy and resources committee meeting – and heard that, due to the urgency of the situation, staff had already pressed ahead with getting the work done.

SIC chief executive Maggie Sandison acknowledged that the door, originally put in place several years ago, had fallen off within a year of being fitted.

The “up and over”-style door was manufactured by the same company – Express Hi-Fold Doors Ltd – whose door fell and killed two people at a music venue in Guildford in 2013.

Britten Norman Islander aircraft

The company has since folded after being fined for breaching health and safety laws, though Sandison has previously emphasised that the door is a different design to the one involved in that fatal incident.

South Mainland councillor Allison Duncan said it sounded like there must have been an issue of “poor workmanship”. He also questioned whether it made sense to spend £100,000 on the door when the future of Tingwall Airport as a whole was under review.

Sandison said it was the local authority’s duty to remedy health and safety issues when it becomes aware of them. Asked whether competitive tendering had been carried out, she said council staff approached two suppliers for quotes “because they needed it done quickly”.

The business case presented to the committee said there were “significant risks to the daily operation” of the airport and a risk of “prolonged suspension of service” due to potential Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) concerns.