As summer looms, so do air traffic control strikes and disputes.

That’s often been the situation in France, Spain and Italy…and now it is looming over the Highlands and Islands.

This comes after talks – organised by the conciliation service ACAS – broke down yesterday (Friday May 3rd).

Management at Highlands and islands Airports Ltd and union bosses at Prospect had met several times.

The union states: “After a number of meetings between HIAL, Prospect and ACAS to resolve the ongoing pay dispute, no new proposals have been tabled by HIAL and talks have broken down.

“Prospect will meet with its Air Traffic Control reps committee next week to agree further industrial action."

David Avery, Prospect negotiations officer, said: “Our members agreed to cancel strike action earlier in the year to allow the company to develop new proposals.

“It is disappointing that after three meetings, no new proposals have been tabled and no new money has been made available.

“Prospect members have been extremely patient with HIAL. That patience is now exhausted.

“We will now move to further industrial action including possible strike action.

"We urge Scottish Ministers to intervene and come forward with additional funding to resolve this dispute.”

HIAL responded: “As a public organisation, HIAL is bound by the Scottish Government pay policy and simply cannot implement pay awards that greatly exceed the policy.

“HIAL is disappointed that proposals put forward were not accepted, and that the talks today failed to deliver a resolution. 

“We are committed to resolving this dispute and have urged Prospect to work with us to deliver a reasonable and appropriate remuneration package.

“There are no further talks planned with ACAS.  However, ACAS have indicated their willingness to provide further assistance in support of achieving a mutually agreed outcome to resolve the dispute.”