Shetland Greens join condemnation of HIAL’s air traffic centralisation plans

Shetland Greens have joined the growing opposition to plans to air traffic control away from Sumburgh,

Debra Nicolson, Green list candidate for the Highlands and Islands, said the move would take jobs from Shetland and harm its economy.

She made her comments ahead of a board meeting of the Highlands and Islands  Airports (Hial) at which an islands community impact assessment will be presented.

“There’s no representation from island communities on the Hial Board.

“There is huge opposition to these proposals, from Hial staff, from unions and from the three island councils including the SIC and the residents of Shetland.”

Ms Nicolson also highlighted a report last year from the union Prospect estimating that £18 million will be removed from our island economies.

She accused the Scottish government of “riding rough shod” over the principles of the Islands Act. 

Her comments follow recent criticism by Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart and  Labour’s Highlands and Islands member Rhoda Grant.

Hial managing director Inglis Lyon said the findings of the impact assessment would be published soon afterwards the meeting on 24th February.

Mr Lyon said:  “We appreciate that a programme of this magnitude and complexity will bring significant change for people, not least our highly valued air traffic control colleagues.

“However, there are no alternative proposals for air traffic services that provide the all-encompassing solution of Hial’s current ATMS.

“Unless we modernise and move forward with it, we cannot guarantee air connectivity for the Highlands and Islands into the future.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • February 20th, 2021 17:32

    Election rhetoric from the Greens, again. Back at the 2019 MSP by election, the Greens stated opposition to the Viking Energy project on environmental grounds – Patrick Harvie himself, no less, said it to the local media, in Lerwick.

    However, they have not said anything about it since. No official statements or even, a letter to the local media, condemning the devastation of Shetland wilderness and habitat that is becoming ever more apparent, daily. Not a dicky bird!

    Never mind, perhaps, they’ll say something now – now that there’s another election on the way? Humbug!


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.