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BBC Alba series examines north air traffic control plans


By Calum MacLeod

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Wick John O'Groats Airport is one of two HIAL airports which will be downgraded from having its own air traffic service to a flight information service.
Wick John O'Groats Airport is one of two HIAL airports which will be downgraded from having its own air traffic service to a flight information service.

Controversial plans to change the way air traffic operations are handled in the Highlands and Islands will be put under the spotlight by BBC Alba current affairs series Eòrpa this evening.

Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL), wants to remove air traffic control from five airports and centralise it at one location in Inverness using remote tower technology, and downgrade the air traffic service at two other airports to an information service.

However, as Angela MacLean reports, many people are against the project with concerns about the loss of local jobs, and the resilience of the new technology and safety.

Among those taking part is Peter Henderson, a former air traffic assistant and flight information officer, who has called the proposal "a step backwards", Ùisdean Robertson, who chairs Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's transportation committee and HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon, who will explain why the group has taken the decision and why he believes this is the best option for guaranteeing the required level of air traffic in the future.

Also in the programme, Donalda McComb, who has been at the heart of Gaelic medium education in Glasgow for many years, reflects on her experiences as the head teacher of the first Gaelic medium primary school and the first Gaelic medium secondary school in Scotland.

Eòrpa will be screened on BBC Alba this evening Thursday, February 18, at 8.30pm and will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days afterwards.


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