Funding challenge

Highlands and Islands Airports scales back plans

Sumburgh Airport
Sumburgh Airport

Highlands and Islands Airports intends to scale back its air traffic modernisation plans because of a funding shortfall.

The state-owned operator, which is talks with Transport Scotland over the issue, had previously abandoned a proposal to centralise the service for some of its 11 airports.

Controllers at Dundee, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh were to be relocated to a new hub.

The Prospect union opposed the move saying it would have put almost 50 jobs at risk.

Hial said the plan no longer formed part of its proposed modernisation of air traffic control.

A separate plan to downgrade air traffic services for Benbecula and Wick John O’Groats airports was also to be reviewed.

Chair Lorna Jack said: “Our overriding focus is to deliver safe, reliable and sustainable aviation services for the communities we serve.

“Like many other businesses, Hial must reappraise priorities and spending options and make difficult decisions based on the extraordinary circumstances we are all facing as global economic pressures impact our day-to-day activities and our future plans.”

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