Air Traffic Management Strategy

The Need for ATMS

HIAL provides lifeline services and contributes to the social and economic prosperity of our local island communities.  We need to ensure our airports and aviation services are maintained and future-proofed.

The ATMS programme and investment in new systems is critical to secure a viable future for our network and the lifeline transport services that rely upon it.

New technology can improve the resilience and safety of air traffic management systems and using that we must act now to modernise our operations to ensure they are sustainable for decades to come.

During the last year the Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the critical role of HIAL’s airports in connecting our communities, but it has also highlighted the fragility and lack of resilience in our current air traffic delivery model.

There is general agreement that HIAL must modernise its air traffic management system to meet operational needs now and into the future. The ATMS aims to provide a foundation stone to address both HIAL and industry-wide structural deficits which, if left unaddressed, will compromise our ability to provide the foundation for our lifeline activities and those of our airline customers.

These structural deficits include:

  • Ageing operating models and infrastructure
  • The need to improve resilience, staff recruitment and retention
  • A changing legislative framework within UK and European aviation
  • And an opportunity to improve safety

Unless we modernise and move forward with the ATMS programme, we cannot guarantee air connectivity for the Highlands and Islands into the future.