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Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) and Prospect discuss a possible alternate method of delivery for the Air Traffic Management Strategy project which would see the centralisation of air traffic control operations at New Century House in Inverness with jobs moved from the outlying areas


By Ian Duncan

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Inverness Airport.
Inverness Airport.

Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) and the Prospect union could have reached an alternative method of delivery of the controversial Air Traffic Management Strategy (ATMS) project, it has been announced.

Previously the initiative involved centralising air traffic control operations to a base in Inverness and moving jobs from airports in the wider Highlands and Islands region.

However unions and politicians from across the political spectrum have been united in their opposition to the proposals.

In a joint statement, which was released today, both Hial and the union announced a possible alternate method of delivery was being discussed although no further details about it are being released at present.

Inglis Lyon, Hial's managing director, said: “Hial and Prospect are discussing a possible alternate method of delivery for the ATMS project. Any proposal will be subject to consultation with union members and Hial’s wider stakeholders.

“We have been engaging with Prospect to find a solution to resolve the current industrial action. I met with Prospect on Friday, September 10, to discuss the implementation of our air traffic modernisation programme. The discussions were constructive, and we will now move forward with more detailed talks.”

David Avery, negotiation officer for Prospect, said: “Prospect had a constructive meeting with Hial on September 10 and we have agreed to further talks to find a mutually agreeable solution to modernising air traffic control services in the Highlands and Islands. Prospect has agreed that there will be no further days of strike while these talks are ongoing.”

Related article: Highlands and Islands MSPs Emma Roddick and Donald Cameron quiz First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd's plans to centralise its air traffic control operation in Inverness

Related article: Prospect union to hold Highlands and Islands Jobs Summit over Hial's remote towers plan to centralise air traffic control operations in Inverness

Related article: Airport bosses in the Highlands and Islands say modernisation programme is necessary to ensure air connectivity


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