Senior figures from Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) met leading Scottish politicians last night (Thursday, June 15) to discuss plans to review air traffic management operations at the company’s 11 regional airports.
HIAL Managing Director, Inglis Lyon, brought politicians from the Scottish and UK parliament up-to-date on the Air Traffic Management 2030 Strategy and explained the rationale behind launching a scoping study to review the way in which the company can deliver Air Traffic Management (ATM) fit for the future.
Part of the review is to ensure the long-term development of the HIAL business and the delivery of sustainable services to the Highlands and Islands communities it serves.
The scoping study which is being led by leading aviation consultancy, Helios, will review existing operations and assess the best way of delivering a safe, efficient, future-proof service at the 11 mainland and island airports HIAL operates.
Helios has been charged with delivering an initial report which is scheduled to be reviewed by the HIAL Board later this year.
The HIAL team have already briefed airport staff and unions on the proposals.
Inglis Lyon said: “Our overriding priority is and will always be, to deliver safe and secure air navigation services now and into the future.
“Having already briefed our staff on the proposals and the decision to instruct Helios to review the operation, it is important we discussed the plans with the elected representatives whose constituencies include the 11 airports involved.
“We also needed to make them aware of global developments in technology and the consequential demands on the airline industry.
“We have an important role to play in sustaining airports within rural communities, promoting growth in air routes and enhancing connectivity through improved services and infrastructure. This delivers long-term job security both in the aviation sector and also through enhanced economic access for remote communities. New developments in technology are increasingly important at a time where we are both witnessing and anticipating significant passenger growth across each of the airports within the group.
“HIAL is dedicated to ensuring employees enjoy rewarding careers with opportunities to continuously develop and excel in their fields of speciality and the long-term future relies on anticipating and delivering services that respond to evolving local, national and international air traffic management requirements.”
Further meetings with elected representatives are being scheduled for later this month.
The 11 regional airports operated by HIAL are: Inverness, Dundee, Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick John O’Groats.