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Plans to relocate airport tower jobs from remote communities shelved following trade union pressure

PLANS for a controversial move that would have seen airport tower jobs removed from some of Scotland’s most remote communities have been shelved following trade union pressure. 

The tender exercise for the remote airport tower, which would have seen highly-skilled jobs with Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) centralised in Inverness, was cancelled this week. 

Transport Minister Graeme Dey confirmed the cancellation in an answer to questions from Orkney MSP Liam McArthur.

A report published by the Prospect union last year suggested the move could strip an estimated £18 million out of island communities. 

As HIAL is a publicly owned company, ministers have the power to intervene, with strikes taking place at a number of small airports in Scotland. 

Prospect members have been fighting the plans for years, with the union’s National Secretary for Scotland and Ireland, Richard Hardy, welcoming the move. 

He wrote: “We will continue to engage with HIAL on a modernisation project that delivers on our key aim high-value jobs in local communities — I’d like to thank our members and the cross-party group of politicians for their efforts.”

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