The controversy around HIAL's remote towers project continues... again

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Posted by Vincent Lambercy

Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd wants to centralise the ATC services at five airports to a central location in Inverness using remote towers. We already posted about this project, including when the call for tenders was launched. Before the call for tenders, there was a lot of political discussions. A long time ago, in our weekly review #32, there was a link about how the Scottish Parliament was addressing the issue and how some argued that remote towers are not safe to try keep high-paying jobs in the communities and avoid centralisation.

The publication of the call for tenders certainly did not end the controversy and the political power play. The Orkney Islands Council joined the debate and even raised the issue with the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. One councillor added "So it is disappointing that the government and HIAL have disregarded a call by this council, and others, for them to undertake an Islands Impact Assessment before by moving ahead with their plans."

Will this political action stop the plans? Or will COVID-19 do? Or may be Brexit? There is a lot of uncertainty around the whole process and this will make the tenderers' lives a bit rough in the future...