Responding to the findings of an independent report for the Prospect Union showing that the likely costs and risks of the Air Traffic Management Strategy have been significantly under-estimated by HIAL, Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur commented:
“The findings of this report are hardly surprising given that HIAL have been repeatedly warned by their own staff and advisors since day one that their proposals were the riskiest and costliest option.
“It is now blatantly obvious that this process needs to be paused so that other options can be fully explored. Continuing down a path that is clearly fraught with this level of risk is reckless, particularly a time of such uncertainty for aviation.
“The report also highlights the threat to the operation of our lifeline air services. That cannot be allowed to happen. Rather than allow the costs of this vanity project for HIAL to spiral, Ministers should be insisting that the funds are used to modernise air traffic control services in ways that deliver the necessary improvements, retain skilled jobs in our islands and safeguard services.
“I will be demanding Ministers take heed of the warnings in this report and agree to put the plans on hold before it’s too late.”