THE WOMAN who has guided Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) through a controversial period has been made chairwoman of the organisation – a decision that has drawn the fire of Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.
Lorna Jack was appointed chair of HIAL on Thursday by cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP.
She was previously appointed interim chair of the Scottish Government owned organisation in October 2017 after being made a non-executive director of HIAL in 2014 and has steered HIAL through a period of controversy.
HIAL has made itself unpopular in Shetland by imposing car parking charges at Sumburgh at the beginning of December despite a long-running campaign against them.
Scott said: “This SNP decision is not good. Their candidate has imposed car parking charges at Sumburgh, ripped up the Islands Bill and ignored any pretence at proper consultation.
“Jack is also the main cheerleader for a disastrous centralisation of air traffic control services with the potential loss of skilled, well paid jobs from Shetland. This is a bad decision.”
Matheson however pinned his faith on Jack to continue her “admirable” work in charge of HIAL.
He said: “I congratulate Lorna on her appointment as chair of the board of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd on a permanent basis.
“She has performed admirably in the role on an interim basis, helping HIAL continue to deliver for the communities that rely on these vital air links. I look forward to continuing to work with her.”
HIAL operates 11 airports in the Highlands and Islands, none of which, it says, are commercially sustainable without subsidy.
Jack, a chartered accountant and a graduate of Aberdeen University, is also chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland and a trustee and treasurer of the McConnell International Foundation.
She begins her three year appointment on 1 February and will be paid £310 per day and will work six days per month.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News