There may now be a way forward for the highly criticised Remote Towers Project which would have seen the loss of many highly skilled and well paid jobs from the islands.
Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) and Prospect are discussing a possible alternate method of delivery for the Air Traffic Management Strategy (ATMS) project.
Any proposal will be subject to consultation with union members and HIAL’s wider stakeholders.
David Avery, Negotiation Officer for Prospect said:
“Prospect had a constructive meeting with HIAL on 10 September 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.”
Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s Managing Director said:
“We have been engaging with Prospect to find a solution to resolve the current industrial action. I met with Prospect on Friday, 10 September, to discuss the implementation of our air traffic modernisation programme. The discussions were constructive, and we will now move forward with more detailed talks.”
Commenting on the development Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Emma Roddick said:
“I am happy to see further talks regarding the planned modernisation of HIAL airports.
“The initial plan threatened significant jobs in Orkney and I welcome further discussion on the matter.
“It is vitally important that we empower people to stay in their local areas, it is not fair to them or their families to take their livelihoods away in the name of modernisation.”
The Orkney News will bring further reactions from our politicians as this story develops.