Scotland Air Site visitors Management Towers Shutdown: No Plan B
- The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) demands that ATC services in the region are guaranteed without interruption.
- The ETF stresses that, unlike a similar situation in London, most HIAL airports require daily access to air traffic for medical purposes.
- In addition, these airports are used for other types of emergency services.
The ETF strongly condemns the recent intentions of HIAL – which operates 11 airports in the Scottish Highlands, Northern Isles and Western Isles – to reduce and further centralize current levels of air traffic control services at 6 airports in the Highlands and Islands Distance.
In a letter to the Minister of Transport in Scotland, Mr Graeme Dey MSP, ETF pointed out that such a decision would severely disrupt local rural communities in North West Scotland, not only through the loss of highly skilled jobs, but also through the possible loss of essential services – such as medical flights – due to the vulnerability of remote tower technology.
The ETF believes that the Scottish Government should abandon the implementation of such a decision and urges the Scottish Minister of Transport to look beyond HIAL’s cost-effectiveness and profit figures and focus primarily on the long-term negative consequences of such a decision for its citizens, Workers and the wider society in the Highlands and Islands.
The document underlines that the Edinburgh authorities should not forget for a second that the safety and economic development of these communities should come first, especially as they depend on aviation to ensure basic services, the ETF letter underlines the Minister of Transport in Scotland.
ETF Secretary General Livia Spera, who signed the letter to the Scottish Authorities, stressed that without a clear assessment of the socio-economic impact of such a decision, the abolition of the current personal service is the livelihood of these communities in northwest Scotland, given that airports play a key role play for their own existence.