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Transport / Further talks planned on air traffic control dispute

Sumburgh Airport. Photo: HIAL

MORE talks are planned this week on a pay dispute with air traffic controllers which could result in Sumburgh Airport being shut for a day in April due to strike action.

Representatives from Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) and the Prospect union met on Friday (15 March) to hold more discussions on the dispute, which stemmed from the pay offer the company made to air traffic control staff last year.

A 24-hour strike is set to take place on 26 April at airports at Benbecula, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Wick John O’Groats.

Prospect says air traffic controllers in the Highlands and Islands and Dundee should have salary parity with colleagues at London airports – a pay increase which HIAL says is beyond what it can offer.

Government-owned HIAL said on Friday: “A further meeting will take place next week. Both parties agreed to undertake further work on options that may avert the industrial action.

“HIAL continue to engage with Prospect union in a bid to resolve the air traffic control officer’s pay dispute.”