Industrial action announced at HIAL airports over remote towers

21 December 2020

Prospect, which represents air traffic control staff and other in Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, has announced that its member are to take industrial action over the company’s remote towers plan.

Unless HIAL changes tack nearly 50 staff will be made redundant with HIAL needing to recruit a similar number in Inverness at very significant expense to the taxpayer.

Action will commence on 4/5 January and will initially consist of the withdrawal of any work relating to the remote towers plan and the closure of local air traffic facilities.

Prospect’s ballot of members in HIAL closed last week with a significant vote in favour of both action short of a strike and strike action. Due to the  ongoing pandemic, which has decimated the aviation industry, Prospect members have decided not to take either strike action, or action short of  a strike which would cause disruption to travellers or local economies at this time.

David Avery, Prospect negotiator, said:

“Prospect have presented a raft of evidence against remote towers, including an independent report into its viability but HIAL are pressing on regardless. Our members are not against change but this is the wrong plan and at a time when aviation is being decimated by the pandemic there are better things to spend taxpayers’ money on.

“Our members, working in safety critical roles, are being asked to give their time to develop a project which they don’t want, which is reduces safety, which will remove substantial money from local economies, and will make them redundant. Withdrawing cooperation from this project is the best way for our members to take industrial action without further impacting the communities they serve.

“HIAL and the Scottish Government have the opportunity to think again, cancel this harmful project and come up with an acceptable way to modernise services.”


Prospect has members working in aviation, road, rail and maritime transportation, as well as regulation and research.