McArthur responds to HIAL-Prospect talks

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Monday) welcomed confirmation that industrial action has been suspended as a result of progress in HIAL-Prospect talks.

Fresh talks between HIAL and the trade union began last month to resolve the ongoing dispute over HIAL's Air Traffic Management Strategy which proposes to centralise air traffic control services in Inverness. A “framework” for discussion has been agreed to establish a new way forward for modernising air traffic control services.

HIAL's centralisation plans have faced growing opposition within the communities affected, from local authorities and elected representatives from all parties. An island impact assessment in March also found the plans to have a number of “significant negative impacts” for Orkney.

Responding, Mr McArthur said:

"Confirmation that industrial action is being suspended as talks between HIAL and Prospect continue will come as a relief to passengers and island communities.

"It is still not clear how substantive the proposed changes to HIAL's centralisation plans actually are, but for as long as talks are ongoing there is hope that sense will prevail.

"The drive to centralise air traffic services has attracted widespread criticism. The sooner HIAL and Scottish Ministers accept that these proposals are unworkable and unwanted, the better."

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