Isles MP Angus MacNeil has reacted with relief that Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) have finally listened to the voices from the islands and dropped plans to centralise Air Traffic Control.

The plan to centralise controllers from Stornoway and other locations in a new hub has been abandoned and a separate plan to downgrade air traffic services for Benbecula and Wick John O’Groats airports is also to be reviewed.

This follows a five year campaign by Prospect Union which Mr MacNeil has strongly supported.

Mr MacNeil said: “It is sensible of HIAL to do this as they were at risk of losing the ‘I’ for islands in Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd. We must however keep a sharp eye on HIAL including the make-up of the board.

“As islanders we cannot have decisions made about us, too often by people with little or no island experience. The Faroese islanders, who economically per capita actually out-perform Scotland, show that islanders make the best decisions for islands.”

The new proposals from HIAL will now allow Prospect union to ballot its members on acceptance of the revised proposal. HIAL say plans are underway to modernise air traffic services but in a way which will protect jobs.