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Politics / Greens reiterate their opposition to remote tower project

THE SCOTTISH Greens will continue to oppose the planned centralisation of air traffic control in the Highlands and Islands, the party has confirmed.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant challenged the party last week when she claimed the Greens had sold out to the SNP and were not prepared to stand up for rural and island communities.

But the SNP/Greens cooperation agreement, which has now been approved by both parties, only covers areas that can be voted on in parliament, according to Ross Greer MSP.

That means party members, branches, councillors and individual MSPs will remain at liberty to continue to challenge the centralisation of air traffic control, the party said after Shetland News asked for a clarification of its position.

Highlands and Islands co-convener Debra Nicolson said: “The Shetland Greens, and the wider Highlands and Islands Greens, will continue to oppose the centralisation plans contained in the HIAL ATMS proposals.”

Highlands and Islands Green MSP Ariane Burgess added: “My support for the workers at HIAL’s airports remains firm, as does my opposition to centralised air traffic control.

“While the Scottish Greens have long since criticised the environmentally destructive aviation industry, we have also always recognised the need for lifeline air routes to serve communities in the Highlands and Islands which is why HIAL is specifically mentioned in the agreement.

“Unfortunately, Ms Grant MSP has misunderstood the nature of the deal between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government.

“It will allow us to cooperate productively, delivering real benefit for people and communities across Scotland, while acknowledging that our parties will not always agree on everything.”