UK-based operator Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) is set to invest approximately £28m in new air traffic management technology.

HIAL will invest the fund over the next ten to 15 years as part of a strategy to make its operations ‘future-proof’ in Scotland.

The long-term remote towers and centralised approach surveillance control programme will reflect an already successful project in Sweden.

Furthermore, the organisation’s operations at key airports including Stornoway, Inverness and Dundee would be transformed.

“Our overriding priority is to deliver safe and secure air navigation services that will keep our airports open for local communities for the long term.”

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “Our overriding priority is and will always be, to deliver safe and secure air navigation services that will keep our airports open for local communities for the long term.

“Having already involved our air traffic control staff and key stakeholders in the full review of our air traffic management operations by leading aviation consultancy, Helios, the Board have agreed in principle with the Helios recommendation to further pursue the remote towers solution.”

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HIAL noted that the location of the proposed operational centre is yet to be decided. The new proposals will include HIAL airports at Sumburgh, Dundee, Inverness, Wick John O’Groats, and Stornoway.

HIAL airports at Barra, Tiree, Islay and Campbeltown will not be affected by the changes as they have different levels of air traffic usage.