Responding to the decision by Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) to centralise air traffic control (ATC) services to Inverness Airport, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur commented:
“It is no secret that the plans to centralise air traffic control services have faced overwhelming resistance in communities across the Highlands & Islands from day one.
“Yet HIAL’s decision to press ahead with these plans appears to have been predetermined from the start, despite serious concerns being raised over cost, reliability and safety. The views of local ATC staff in Orkney, and across the network, have been disregarded throughout this process.
“The level of anger and disillusionment amongst ATC staff also calls into question the ability of HIAL to deliver plans that their own advisers have made clear is the most costly and risky option. No one disputes the need to modernise air traffic control services, but HIAL’s approach puts at risk these lifeline services upon which our island and rural communities rely”
“I will be urging Ministers and HIAL Management to urgently re-evaluate this decision and to start putting the needs and views of those who depend on these lifeline services first”.