Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has joined Liberal Democrat colleagues in voicing concern about the “damning” impact assessment on HIAL’s plans to centralise air traffic control in the North of Scotland and move jobs and services to Inverness. The report outlines a range of likely negative impacts for the isles including population loss, reduced economic activity and lowered resilience of flight services from the plan, with the only significant positive outcomes found for Inverness, where services are to be centralised.
Commenting on the report, Mr Carmichael said:
“The ATMS impact assessment is more damning than we could have imagined and confirms local suspicions that this plan will cause serious harm to our communities. It is clearer than ever that this project is going to take quality jobs out of the isles and move them to Inverness. That is cutting away money from our local economy, in exchange for no benefit for aviation safety.
“The report shows no positives for Orkney and Shetland, with a range of downsides from the economy to population loss to service resilience. The only significant benefits appear to go to Inverness. That may be convenient for HIAL but it is an outrageous way to behave for any public body that is supposed to serve these communities. It is time for HIAL to change course and listen to the overwhelming body of concerns about this project.”