Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Thursday) called on the Transport Secretary to step in and help find a resolution to the long running industrial dispute between Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) and air traffic controllers in the region.
During First Minister’s Questions, Mr McArthur highlighted the disruption again this week, which saw passengers attempting to get back to Orkney and Shetland stranded, including many isles patients returning from hospital appointments in Aberdeen.
Orkney’s MSP asked the First Minister if she understood the anger being felt by those left paying the price of the ongoing dispute. He also urged her to ask the Transport Secretary to help bring about a resolution.
Commenting after the exchange, Mr McArthur said:
“I first raised concerns about the impact of this dispute on our lifeline air services with the First Minister in April. Five months on and still there is no sign of a resolution.
“Meantime, passengers are continuing to suffer as result of the disruption to flights. The effect has been wide-ranging, but I am particularly concerned about the impact on isles patients, some of whom have again been left stranded in Aberdeen this week attempting to get back home after hospital appointments.
“This cannot be allowed to go on. The Transport Secretary must now step in and ensure HIAL and the unions get back round the table and resolve this dispute as soon as possible”.