New report finds major failings in air traffic control plans

Fresh criticism has been levelled against controversial plans to centralise air traffic control services.

A report by Digital Scotland has found “major” issues and concerns said to threaten the viability of the project.

The report claims “successful delivery of the project/programme is in doubt with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas”.

“Urgent action is needed to ensure these are addressed,” it says.

It concludes there has been:

• A lack of clear coherent transparency, with “significant shortfalls” in programme management.

• A misalignment of governance with the needs of the programme, combined with a lack of clarity regarding roles, responsibilities, delegations, approvals and decision making.

• A level of resourcing and skills currently well below what would be required for a programme of such size and complexity.

Hial has consistently said the move is necessary in order for it to modernise and adapt to challenges faced in the industry.

But Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has insisted the project must stop.

“The best that you can say about the Hial’s plans to cut jobs and resilience away from islands air traffic control is that at least they are not very good at executing those plans,” he said.

“That is small comfort when you consider the sheer amount of money thrown at centralisation by Hial and the SNP.

“Today’s report is just the latest demonstration of the centralisation project being a bad idea, badly executed.

“How many damning reports will it take for Hial and the SNP to set aside their obsession with undermining island communities?

“The Scottish government has a chance with a new parliament to make a fresh start and stop these harmful centralisation plans.

“It is high time to change course – and ensure the future safety and stability of isles air transport.”


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