Hial urged to hold talks with ZetTrans over air traffic control centralisation

A fresh attempt is being made by the council’s transport partnership ZetTrans to persuade Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) to ground its plans to centralise air traffic control services.

Chairman of ZetTrans Ryan Thomson is urging Hial to halt the process until the “potential impacts” have been identified and addressed.

It follows unpopular plans by Hial to relocate its air traffic control services from Sumburgh to Inverness.

Mr Thomson said: “This is one of Shetland’s critical lifeline links, and we need to be sure that any changes to the current system are in the best interests of our communities.

SIC councillor Ryan Thomson.

“We have unique needs here in Shetland, and at the very least an island-specific impact assessment must be completed.

“I’m calling for Hial to put these plans on hold until the company meets with representatives from ZetTrans and Shetland Islands Council on this issue.”

Hial has already said it would not implement any changes to air traffic control services that were not deemed safe by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Earlier this month it issued an £8.5 million tender process for services and supplies aimed at developing its new surveillance centre in Inverness.


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