The pay dispute that led to crippling strike action across the airport network of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd during 2019 has been brought to a conclusion.

Mr Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s Managing Director said today (Friday 3rd January):  “I’m pleased to advise that the ATC pay dispute has now been resolved.   Prospect has confirmed today that, following a ballot of their membership, there was an overwhelming acceptance of our revised pay offer.

“Acceptance of this offer sees air traffic controllers receiving the 2019/20 pay increase already awarded to other HIAL staff, along with a commitment to a similar award in 2020/21, assuming that Scottish Government’s pay policy remains broadly the same.  In addition, they will receive a retention payment for a three-year period.

“This now draws the ATC industrial action to a close and we look forward to working with our air traffic control staff as we strive to maintain and develop sustainable airport services for the future.”

David Avery, Prospect Negotiations Officer said: “We are pleased that our members have accepted this new deal and that this long-running dispute can now be brought to an end.

“Air traffic controllers provide a vital service for the Highlands and Islands and deserve to have their work and skills properly compensated and we are pleased that this deal represents real progress.

“The deal has required compromise on both sides and I would like to thank Scottish Ministers for giving HIAL the authority to reach a deal, and we look forward to working constructively with HIAL in the future.”

Union members worked to rule between April and November last year and staged a series of strikes that affected thousands of passengers at six of the company’s 11 regional airports.

The offer covers the period from April 2018 to April next year and is reportedly worth at least nine per cent over the three years, with an additional £9,000 over the period of the deal for a fully qualified controller.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant, who’s been campaigning on behalf of air traffic controllers, said today: “I am glad the dispute has been resolved. This will come as welcome news to both the air traffic controllers and the communities they serve

“I also welcome the promise from Inglis Lyon that he will now work with air traffic controllers regarding a sustainable solution for the future of service.”

(This report has been updated with additional references since first being posted.)