A strike called by air traffic controllers over a pay dispute has forced Shetland’s Sumburgh Airport and Kirkwall Airport in Orkney to close today.

The 24-hour airport strike is the second of a series of strikes affecting six airports across Scotland.

The first strike action took place at Inverness Airport yesterday.

Stornoway Airport, Benbecula Airport, and Dundee Airport will be closed to air traffic on 23 July.

The strike has been called by air traffic controllers employed by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL), which rejected a revised pay deal.

The controllers’ union, Prospect, said the strikes were ‘a last resort’.

Highlands and Islands Airports managing director Inglis Lyon said: “We deeply regret the inconvenience and upset to hundreds of passengers affected by the strike action.

“We wish to find a resolution to this dispute as soon as possible and would urge Prospect to sit down with us once again to find some common ground on which we can arrive at a negotiated settlement.

“The continued industrial action is having a significant impact on our passengers, communities and the airlines operating from our airports. We would encourage Prospect to revisit the offer and bring this dispute to an end.”

The strikes were first called after the air traffic controllers rejected HIAL’s latest offer on 4 July.

HIAL’s proposal included a retention allowance, offering staff an additional £10,000 over a five-year period.

The dispute over air traffic controllers’ pay has been on-going for months.

A Scottish government spokesman told the BBC: “HIAL has been authorised to develop a retention allowance as part of the Air Traffic Management 2030 Strategy programme.

“We have been clear with both HIAL and Prospect that any settlement must be in-line with Scottish Public Sector Pay Policy.”