Comhairle Statement on HIAL’s Air Traffic Control Centralisation Proposals

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has described HIAL’s air traffic control centralisation proposals as short sighted and damaging to the Islands’ economy.

HIAL has gone out to tender on its £8.5 million plans to provide the technology for the controversial centralisation of air traffic control.

Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure, Cllr. Uisdean Robertson, said:

“It frankly beggars belief that HIAL are proceeding with these proposals at a time when air travel is facing such a challenging time.

“It is short sighted in the extreme when we should all be working together to secure a sustainable future for air travel, tourism and Island economies.

“As we look to an uncertain future we should be focussing on sustaining island economies rather than centralising services and employment in already prosperous areas of the country.

“It is also the case that a dispersed service will offer greater resilience particularly as we consider the ongoing possible need for social distancing, restricted travel and future working practices.

“Instead of removing skilled jobs from the Islands all agencies, including HIAL, should be working to build sustainable futures.”

CNES has written to Scottish Government Minsters opposing the centralisation plans and calling for a moratorium on them pending an Islands Impact Assessment.