Air Traffic Management Strategy

ATMS Expenditure

Update – 24 January 2021

In response to a Parliamentary Question on the expenditure so far on the Air Traffic Management Strategy (ATMS), Mr Dey, Minister for Transport, advised that £9 million had been spent on the programme.

The following is a full breakdown on the budget spend confirmed by the Minister.

This information was also provided to the UK Parliament Scottish Affairs Committee in response to their questions on the £9 million expenditure, and the spend relating to the remote tower element of the programme which is £228.953.

ATMS is a complex and significant change management project. It is a long-term programme consisting of several individual workstreams, of which the remote towers element is one.

The financial investment in the programme thus far provides a stable platform to move forward with the essential modernisation of air traffic services in the Highlands and Islands. The investment is already benefiting the organisation and providing resilience through the recruitment of seven Ab-initio staff (trainee air traffic controllers) for the modernisation programme and who are supporting operations for Sumburgh, Dundee, Wick and Kirkwall airports.

HIAL has also invested further in the training of our air traffic colleagues by purchasing an air traffic simulator and recruiting an in-house training team, who are currently located at New Century House.

Working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), this equipment and training has been utilised as part of the project for approach radar services for Sumburgh Airport and will benefit our ATCO training programme moving forward. By way of background, the approach services for Sumburgh are currently provided by NATS from Aberdeen and will be provided in-house at the end of the current contract.

HIAL and Prospect have been in discussion to explore mutually agreeable alternative delivery options for ATMS.  The HIAL Board meet on 24 January to discuss the options and we are hopeful of arriving at a compromise position with Prospect.