Sumburgh Airport is being used as a guinea pig as part of controversial plans to centralise air traffic control, according to a Lerwick community councillor.
Gary Robinson voiced his objection to the Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd (Hial)’s proposals at a Monday meeting, when the airport operator’s consultation was discussed.
Hial’s island communities impact assessment over plans to create a central air traffic control hub in Inverness have already been slammed by Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart as a “tick box exercise” and a “fiasco” by SIC councillor Ryan Thomson.
“I think in some respects we are being experimented on here,” said Mr Robinson, who added that he was “not at all comfortable with that”.
Mr Robinson said it was an issue of “high-paying jobs in our community” and asked the community council to note an objection to the consultation.
“It goes against the logic of what the government is trying to do in terms of sustaining island communities,” added Mr Robinson.
Mr Robinson claimed that “money was being put ahead of safety”.
Community councillors raised concerns that this was a done deal and could not be changed, with Stewart Hay labelling it a “fait accompli”.
“If we are really in a post-covid world wanting communities to prosper and develop then centralising control and taking it away is not a good advert for that,” pointed out Mr Hay.