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Transport / HIAL and Prospect union discussing ‘mutually agreeable solution’ to air traffic control plans

HIAL employs 55 air traffic controllers.
Air traffic management at Sumburgh, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkwall and Stornoway is set to move to one location.

TALKS are being held on a “possible alternative method of delivery” for Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd’s (HIAL) plans to centralise air traffic control in Inverness.

The negotiations have involved HIAL and the Prospect union, which has undertaken industrial action around the controversial proposals.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “HIAL and Prospect are discussing a possible alternate method of delivery for the ATMS project. Any proposal will be subject to consultation with union members and HIAL’s wider stakeholders.

“I met with Prospect on Friday, 10 September, to discuss the implementation of our air traffic modernisation programme. The discussions were constructive, and we will now move forward with more detailed talks.”

David Avery, negotiation officer for Prospect, said: “Prospect had a constructive meeting with HIAL on 10 September and we have agreed to further talks to find a mutually agreeable solution to modernising air traffic control services in the Highlands and Islands. Prospect has agreed that there will be no further days of strike while these talks are ongoing.”

Work to rule industrial action by Prospect air traffic controllers at HIAL will continue for the time being.

Government owned HIAL has come under fierce cross-party opposition for its plans to carry out air traffic control for a number of airports in the Highlands and Islands – including Sumburgh – remotely from Inverness.