Air traffic controllers at Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd are to take industrial action. The action by members of the trade union, Prospect, will start on 4th/5th of January 2021 and is over the issue of remote towers.
The industrial action will not involve strikes as union members felt that this would cause disruption to travellers or local economies at a period of increasing uncertainty with Covid restrictions.
David Avery, Prospect negotiator, said:
“Prospect have presented a raft of evidence against remote towers, including an independent report into its viability but HIAL are pressing on regardless. Our members are not against change but this is the wrong plan and at a time when aviation is being decimated by the pandemic there are better things to spend taxpayers’ money on.
“Our members, working in safety critical roles, are being asked to give their time to develop a project which they don’t want, which is reduces safety, which will remove substantial money from local economies, and will make them redundant. Withdrawing cooperation from this project is the best way for our members to take industrial action without further impacting the communities they serve.
“HIAL and the Scottish Government have the opportunity to think again, cancel this harmful project and come up with an acceptable way to modernise services.”
Last week the Public Petitions Committee in the Scottish Parliament was extremely concerned about the spiralling costs of the remote towers project. They want to see the plans subjected to an audit.