FAQ – Purchase of New Century House for the Combined Surveillance Centre

The Board approved the purchase of New Century House, Stadium Drive, Inverness for the CSC building. It is expected that the purchase of the building will be concluded by the end of this financial year, with funding coming from Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) existing capital budget.  The building will require a complete refit to ensure it delivers the requirements for the ATMS programme.

By utilising an existing property and ensuring the refurbishment meets the highest possible Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) standard, demonstrates our commitment to developing a new Air Traffic Services (ATS) centre of excellence whilst protecting our environment. We are currently in negotiation to purchase the building and we expect the contract will be concluded imminently. Once the period of commercial sensitivity is over, we will share more detail with you.

Q. Why not deploy Surveillance positions at each unit and avoid centralisation?
A. While dispersed surveillance positions will allow us to mitigate existing operational risk, it will not address the current resilience risk.
Each unit will continue to require dedicated staff who will be unable to support other operations.
Additionally, this would drive an overall increase in staff numbers, with resultant recruitment challenges and additional cost of both surveillance equipment and staffing to the organisation.

Q. How long will it take to complete the refurbishment works and where will the budget for the works come from?
A. Refurbishment will begin in April 2020 and it is anticipated it will take place approximately two years.
There will be input from industry specialists and unit representatives.
The costs have been included in the overall ATMS project budget.

Q. Why was an existing property favoured over a new build?
A. New Century House presented as an opportunity. It was available at the right time, it was the size needed, is in a central and easily accessible location, with a bus route and room for expansion and ample parking facilities.
Overall, the cost of the building and the refurbishment works is estimated to be £0.5m cheaper than the option of a new build.

Q. Who will be located at the CSC?
A. The building is primarily for the use of Air Traffic Services (ATS) staff. Therefore, the expectation is that all Air Traffic Control (ATC) staff, including Air Traffic Service Assistants (ATSAs), will eventually relocate to this building. Air Traffic Engineering (ATE) and other support staff are also likely to relocate.

Q. Is there a separate contingency facility, if so, then where will it be located?
A. Yes, a new contingency facility will be required for both contingency and day to day training purposes and will be available prior to the first transition. Whilst no decisions has been made on the location of the contingency facility, there is a requirement for it to be located a minimum of 1km away from the new CSC.

Q. Will the CSC have staff accommodation?
A. The CSC will have suitable rest facilities for staff but living accommodation has not been costed as part of the current ATMS case.