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Transport / Air traffic control strike suspended

The Sumburgh Airport air traffic control tower. Photo: HIAL

AN AIR traffic controller strike which was set to disrupt services at Sumburgh Airport on 12 June has been suspended following a revised pay offer.

The Prospect union announced last week that there would be a second one-day strike in June at Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) airports after holding one in May.

This led to Loganair cancelling all of its services to and from Sumburgh on 12 June, but the airline says it will not be reinstating the flights.

The industrial action stemmed from a pay dispute between air traffic control members of the union and employer HIAL.

A Loganair spokesperson said: “As Loganair had already been forced to cancel flights and change schedules, we cannot now reinstate services for this date.

“Only Orkney inter-isles services and Royal Mail flights will be taking place and our originally notified service changes will remain in force. Loganair apologises again to customers for the inconvenience arising from matters far beyond our control.”

They added: “All customers holding bookings for that date have accepted alternative travel arrangements which Loganair has worked to provide, including extra flights on the day before and after.”

Prospect national secretary Richard Hard said on Wednesday that the second strike has been suspended following new negotiations.

“Prospect has received a revised pay offer from HIAL which we will be putting to our members for consideration,” he said.

“In light of this we are suspending the strike action scheduled for 12 June.”

Hardy added that action short of a strike will continue.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “The proposal recognises the skills of our air traffic control officers (ATCOs) and the importance of delivering air traffic management services for the future and is within the flexibility granted by the Scottish Government to examine a retention allowance for ATCOs.

“We are pleased Prospect has taken the decision to suspend strike action to allow consultation on our offer to take place. During the period of consultation Prospect has advised the work to rule will remain in place.

“Our aim is to resolve this dispute as soon as possible and we will, of course, continue to engage with Prospect as it consults members on our proposal.”

HIAL has advised passengers to contact their airline regarding travel on 12 June.