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Transport / Lyon to leave role at top of HIAL

THE MANAGING director of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) is to step down from the role this summer.

Inglis Lyon said “after 18 years’ service, I’ve reached that time of life when it is time to pass the baton on”.

The Scottish Government-owned HIAL operates 11 airports across the region, including Sumburgh Airport at the southern tip of Shetland.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon.

It has been a fairly turbulent last few years for Lyon – not least because of the Covid pandemic, which initially severely disrupted services. However, lifeline links to the islands were maintained.

But the highly controversial plans to operate air traffic control remotely from Inverness, which have now been shelved, brought some stinging criticism – especially from Shetland.

There have also been recent strikes and industrial action from workers over pay, which has now been resolved.

The introduction of car parking fees at Sumburgh Airport in 2018 was also met with a less than favourable welcome.

Speaking on behalf of the HIAL board, chair Lorna Jack said: “We wish Inglis well as he prepares for the next chapter in his life.

“He leaves a very capable senior management team and the HIAL board is now focused on recruiting the next person to lead the organisation.”

Lyon said: “I have worked with a fantastic team throughout my time at HIAL.

“I could not be prouder of my colleagues and their commitment to their communities, particularly during the pandemic when amongst much uncertainty they didn’t miss a beat and lifeline services continued.

“I have been very fortunate to meet and work with superb colleagues across the company, numerous HIAL board members, government officials and ministers and local community partners.

“However, after 18 years’ service, I’ve reached that time of life when it is time to pass the baton on and give someone the opportunity to hold the keys to what I consider to be the best job in the Highlands and Islands and take HIAL to the next level.”

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