Closure of Airports

Dundee Airport will be closed , 17 February, due to strike action as part of a pay dispute involving over 120 Unite trade union members across the Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) Group. 

Several days of 24-hour strike action is scheduled across all HIAL’s 11 airports following the action in Dundee.

Dundee Airport will be closed for flights on Friday 17 February and Monday 20 February 2023.

Strike action will take place on 21, 22, and 23 February at the HIAL Group’s other airports: Barra Airport, Benbecula Airport, Campbeltown Airport, Inverness Airport, Islay Airport, Kirkwall Airport, Stornoway Airport, Sumburgh Airport, Tiree Airport, Wick Airport.

A number of airports will be fully closed including Barra, Benbecula, Dundee, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Tiree. Kirkwall Airport will operate on a limited basis.

The following airports will be closed for flights on Tuesday 21 February, Wednesday 22 February and Thursday 23 February 2023:

  • Barra
  • Benbecula
  • Stornoway
  • Sumburgh
  • Tiree

Kirkwall Airporwill operate on a limited basis, opening between 07.15 and 13.00 on Tuesday 21 February, Wednesday 22 February and Thursday 23 February for inter-island flights only. 

The following airports will be operating as normal on Tuesday 21 February, Wednesday 22 February and Thursday 23 February 2023:

  • Campbeltown
  • Dundee
  • Inverness
  • Islay
  • Wick John O’Groats

Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s managing director said:

“We apologise in advance for the disruption this action by Unite colleagues will cause for our airlines and passengers.  I would urge anyone intending to travel on these dates to contact with their airline.”

“The enhanced offer we presented maximised the flexibility within the Scottish Government’s pay policy.  However, we remain in dialogue with Transport Scotland the trade unions in an attempt to resolve the matter.”

The trade union predicts its industrial action will impact the remaining airports differently from mail not getting through to offshore workers not being able to mobilise to installations, and to return home. 

Unite has further confirmed that its members will take part in a discontinuous overtime ban across all 11 airports starting on 24 February and continuing each day up to and inclusive of 2 March.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said:

 “Unite’s industrial action is set to fully close a number of airports starting with Dundee. Other airports will either operate on a limited basis or be significantly disrupted. 

“Let’s be clear that the source of this dispute is due to the inflexibility shown by airport management and the Scottish Government to pay these workers what they deserve. Unite will fully support our members in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions across the Highlands and Islands.”

The workforce has previously rejected a five per cent offer which they deemed unacceptable. Unite represents security staff, baggage handlers, ground crew along with those working in fire and rescue, security and administration.

HIAL, a private limited company wholly-owned by the Scottish Government.

See also: Warning of Strike Action by Fire and Security Workers at HIAL Airports

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