SIC to challenge airport ruling

Shetland Islands Council is to appeal last week’s legal decision clearing the way for the owners of Sumburgh Airport to sue the council for over £14 million in damages.
The council announced today it is challenging part of Lady Scott’s decision that allowed Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) to belatedly tag on a sum of £14,210,000 for their loss.
SIC lawyers had argued that HIAL had been too late in raising the claim against the council as part of its larger legal action in connection with the Sumburgh runway extension.
SIC political leader Gary Robinson said: “This is an extremely unfortunate situation, but the council has no other option but to defend itself in this case. The matter is subject to legal proceedings and it would be inappropriate to comment further, but it is our responsibility to protect the interests of the wider community.”
HIAL – which is a Scottish government company – and the SIC agreed a contract in 2005 for the local authority to provide engineering works and other services for a runway extension.
The airport operators accused the council of not carrying out the agreed work properly – leaving them to foot the bill for bringing in others to complete the project. HIAL raised the action in November 2011 asking a judge to declare that the council was in breach of contract.
Last Tuesday judge Lady Scott Lady Scott ruled that the case should go ahead and accepted HIAL’s argument that it had taken the case to court in time even though it had been unable to put a figure on damages at the end of 2011


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