Local News for Monday 9th July 2018

HIAL - Inverness is Preferred Location of New ATC Control Centre
Regional airport operator, Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) has named Inverness as the preferred location for a new state-of-the art remote air traffic towers control service.
This will see air traffic services provided at seven HIAL airports, including Stornoway and benbecula, by running all air traffic control activities for the seven airports from a centralised tower and surveillance centre in Inverness.

Remote Cameras at airports will offer air traffic controllers in the single centralised location panoramic views of the airfields on multiple screens.
A scoping study from consultants Ekos, setting out why Inverness should be the preferred location, has been accepted, in principle, by the HIAL board. The Board has also committed to undertaking a communities’ impact assessment as part of HIAL's ATM (Air Traffic Management) 2030 project.
As remote towers technology becomes more prevalent, the timescales for delivering the new centralised system and phasing are estimated at 8-10 years.
In total, there are 86 jobs that will likely be impacted by the new Remote Towers and Surveillance Centre. There are no planned reductions in staff numbers.
A dedicated project team to oversee the Air Traffic Management project is being assembled and the recruitment process is already under way.

Council Calls HIAL’s Preferred Control Centre Location ‘Disappointing’
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Has Responded to HIAL’s announcement that Inverness is the preferred location for a proposed remote air traffic control towers control centre, the councils
Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure, Cllr Uisdean Robertson, said:
“Whilst it comes as no great surprise it is nevertheless disappointing that Inverness is the preferred location for the remote towers control centre.
If this goes ahead there will be a loss of high quality jobs in the islands, both in Benbecula and Stornoway.
“I think at the very least such a decision would be contrary to the principle of ‘Island Proofing’, contained in The Islands Bill which recently came into effect. The loss of well paid jobs and the economic impact on Island areas would be disproportionately higher in the Islands and I would call on our MSP and the Scottish Government to demand that HIAL look at this again.
“The Islands Bill states clearly that Island Impact Assessments should be a part of the decision making process. Where is the evidence that any impacts on these islands was even given a passing thought? We will continue to make our voices heard and make the case to HIAL and the Scottish Government for other options to be considered.”

Bessie the Bus on the move
It's what mums and dads all over the islands have been waiting for. Part of the Scottish governments backed ‘Smarter scotland’ play.talk,read initiative. Single decker play bus Bessie is coming your way
Intended for pre-school children, the free play bus makes a lovely day out for Parents and their children.
The play bus aims to help children to have fun, enjoy learning and get more out of life.
Parents won't be bored either. It's a nice change of scene. There are always plenty of other parents with children to chat to. Plus the friendly Play Leaders are there to help you and your child enjoy yourselves and feel more confident when you Play, Talk and Read.
The play bus is completely free – and there may even be a little gift for your child when you leave the bus. Bessie will be continuing her visit to the Western Isles at the following venues:
Today - Monday 9th July
Lionacleit Community Library, Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula, (10am - 12pm)
Carinish Village Hall, Carinish, North Uist, (2pm - 4pm)

Tuesday 10th July
Harris Community Shop, Leverburgh, Isle of Harris, (12:30pm - 3pm)

Wednesday 11th July
Barvas and Brue Community Centre, Lower Barvas, (11:30am - 1pm)
Stornoway Town Hall, Stornoway, (3pm - 4:30pm)

Thursday 12th July
Stornoway Town Hall, Stornoway, (10am - 12pm)