Strikes at six regional airports across Scotland suspended

A second day of strikes by air traffic controllers, which could have affected six regional airports in Scotland, has been suspended.

The planned industrial action by Prospect union members was to take place on June 12, amid a pay dispute with operators Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial).

Airports at Inverness, Dundee, Benbecula and Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, Sumburgh in Shetland and Kirkwall in Orkney had already seen strikes on May 23.

The union has now announced that action has been suspended, after receiving a new pay offer for air traffic controllers.

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Inglis Lyon, Hial managing director, said: “The proposal recognises the skills of our air traffic control officers (ATCOs) and the importance of delivering air traffic management services for the future and is within the flexibility granted by the Scottish Government to examine a retention allowance for ATCOs.

“Our aim is to resolve this dispute as soon as possible and we will, of course, continue to engage with Prospect as it consults members on our proposal.”

Richard Hardy, Prospect national secretary, added: “Prospect has received a revised pay offer from Hial which we will be putting to our members for consideration. In light of this we are suspending the strike action scheduled for June 12.

“Action short of a strike will continue.”

Disruption to services on the planned day of action remain, with the operator advising passengers to contact their airline regarding flights and travel arrangements on the day.

Further consultation on the offer is to take place, however the union had been seeking a 10% increase.

The work to rule will remain in place during this period.

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said: “I welcome confirmation that the strike action planned for next week will no longer be going ahead.

“Unfortunately, the news has come too late to avoid air services being badly affected on June 12.

“It is vital that this long-running dispute is brought to an end as quickly as possible. I very much hope therefore that the revised offer from Hial is now supported by staff.

“I am also conscious that works needs to be done to rebuild relationships that have been damaged over recent months.

“Hopefully that work can begin in the near future”.