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Air Traffic Control Strike Action in Highland - 29 July 2021

28th July 2021

Prospect union has served formal notice of strike action by air traffic controllers at HIAL airports. The strike action will be effective from 00.01 on 29 July for 24 hours. Prospect has confirmed that the current industrial action short of a strike will remain in place before and after the day of strike action.

HIAL has been pushing ahead with plans to relocate air traffic work to one "remote site" in Inverness prompting fears that public safety at risk, according to the union.

The following airports will therefore be closed to all but emergency flights on 29 July 2021: Benbecula, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh.

We will work closely with our airlines and partner agencies to try and keep disruption to a minimum and apologise sincerely for the undoubted inconvenience this action will cause.

Q: Why are Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) taking industrial action?

A: Prospect Union balloted ATCOs to undertake industrial action to support their call for an alternative to HIAL's Air Traffic Management Strategy.

Q: What are HIAL doing to avoid strike action?

A: HIAL is currently in discussion with Prospect Union on a number of different people policies to help alleviate impact on those colleagues who may be impacted by the ATMS programme.

Q: What industrial action is taking place?

A: The current industrial action which runs until 1 December 2021 under the current mandate consists of action short of a strike.

Action short of a strike comprises a number of measures, including the potential refusal for requests for an air traffic control service outside airport opening hours.

Prospect served formal notice of strike action by air traffic controllers at HIAL airports. The strike will be effective from 00.01 on 29 July 2021 for 24 hours.

Prospect has confirmed that the current industrial action short of a strike will remain in place before and after the day of strike action.

Q: How will I know if my flight has been cancelled on the day of strike action?

A: Any passengers booked to travel on 29 July should contact their airline provider for information relating to their flight.

Q: Will airports be open on the day of strike - Thursday 29 July?

A: The following airports will close to air traffic for the period of the strike:

Benbecula, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh.

Prospect has confirmed that where medical and other emergencies arise on the day of strike action that air traffic control will provide cover.

Q: What will happen in the event of a medical emergency?

A. For medical emergencies outside of airport opening times, airports within the HIAL group operate well-established local on-call medical emergency processes and this will continue.

Prospect has confirmed that where medical or other emergencies arise, cover for these will be provided throughout.

Q: Will the strike action have an impact on travel for medical appointments?

A: If you have a medical appointment scheduled that requires you to travel on 29 July 2021, you should contact your GP, hospital or clinic to discuss your appointment arrangements.

HIAL will be in a position to enact appropriate procedures for emergency situations should they arise on the day.

Q: What are my rights with regard to compensation claims in the event of industrial action?

A: Passengers should contact their airlines and travel insurance company in relation to compensation and claim for costs.