Local MSP John Finnie, Scottish Greens, has raised the issue of the service being provided by Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) in the Scottish Parliament.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 6th of December John Finnie said:
“Inverness airport has received a very poor environmental compliance rating from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for four years in a row.
“Air traffic controllers may be about to strike over pay and plans to centralise air traffic control operations.
“HIAL has repeatedly failed to consult remote, rural and island communities, which it is supposed to serve on ministers’ behalf, on important issues, including the introduction of parking charges.
“What action is the cabinet secretary taking to ensure that HIAL lives up to its obligations, and does he have full confidence in the ability of HIAL’s management team?”
In response, Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity in the Scottish Government said:
“I am aware that HIAL is trying to take action in relation to the environmental impact issues at Inverness airport. One of those issues is the need for better rail links to the airport, which we are looking to make progress on in control period 6 of the rail investment programme.
“On potential industrial action by staff, the member will be aware that HIAL is taking forward a programme of work to modernise the air traffic control system to reflect the increasingly complex regulatory structure in which HIAL operates. HIAL will continue to engage with the trade unions and staff in the service in order to take those plans forward constructively to ensure that the air traffic control system that it operates across all its airports is fit for purpose in the new regulatory regime.”
Afterwards John Finnie said:
“HIAL is wholly owned by Scottish Ministers and has a duty to serve communities throughout the Highlands and Islands. It is becoming increasingly clear that the organisation is failing on a number of fronts.
“Ministers must take responsibility for these failures and commit to urgently improving the service its company provides to my constituents.
“I gave the Cabinet Secretary for Transport the opportunity to express confidence in HIAL’s management and it won’t be lost on HIAL, and the wider public, that he chose not to endorse their performance.”