HIAL can’t be held responsible for damage to cars, the airport operator insists

The Sumburgh Airport car park. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsSumburgh airport's car park. Photo: Shetland News

DRIVERS are leaving their vehicles at Sumburgh airport’s car park at their own risk, Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) has reiterated.

The airport operator said on Thursday that they deplored the damage done to three vehicles parked at its car park sometime over the Hogmanay/New Year period, but could not be held liable.

A spokesman for the company said it was clearly signposted that owners left their vehicles, and its contents, at their own risk. There is also a note on HIAL’s website.

There is no CCTV cover of the airport’s car park.

The government owned company introduced hugely controversial car parking charges of £3 per day at Sumburgh airport on 1 December.

Local people have reacted to the original story with a long thread of comments on Shetland News’ Facebook page.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scot, who over recent months campaigned against the introduction of the airport car parking changes, said: “HIAL will have to take legal responsibility as they charge for a car park that has no security CCTV.

“I have suggested that the car owners contact HIAL Sumburgh management and [HIAL managing director] Inglis Lyon’s office in Inverness.

But a spokesperson for HIAL said: “We deplore the damage caused to the vehicles and we are providing every assistance to the police to help trace who is responsible. We would like to reiterate Police Scotland’s appeal for anyone with information to contact them.”

Scott added: “People will be at a complete loss to understand why this mindless vandalism was carried out and I hope the Police are able to track down whoever was responsible.”

Police are appealing for witnesses and can be contacted at Lerwick police station on telephone 101.