Positive report for HIAL

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) demonstrated the ability to develop its business in the face of a difficult economic climate as highlighted in the annual report and accounts for 2010 – 2011 published this week.

The strength of the inbound tourist market allowed HIAL to approach international tour operators with confidence and as a result HIAL has secured more capacity between Inverness and Zurich and Inverness and Dusseldorf.

The company manages and operates 11 airports within the Highlands and Islands and Tayside on behalf of the Scottish Ministers at: Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick. It is responsible for providing safe and cost-effective airport operations, security and supporting economic and social development in the regions.

HIAL continued to operate all 11 airports to meet the aviation regulatory standards in a tough economic environment. The 2010/11 revenue budget was reduced by £1M and £8.4M was invested in essential capital improvements. It is anticipated that going forward, budgets will be equally challenging.

Inglis Lyon, Managing Director for HIAL: “Like many other UK businesses, we continue to face the challenge of escalating fuel prices and a dependence on oil, especially in our Island locations. Through our carbon reduction program, we will progress our environmental aims of reducing the impact of our operations and achieving increased resource efficiency. By reducing energy and fuel consumption, we will also reduce business costs. Our airports have been gradually implementing energy efficiency measures and this effort has been escalated with the completion of a programme of energy audits. These audits have highlighted established good practices, which can be shared between the airports, as well as a variety of new energy saving measures. They also identified potential renewable energy opportunities, which we are enthusiastic to explore further.”

Inglis concludes, “We cannot develop our organisation without first developing our people. I am pleased to say that our apprenticeship and management trainee programme is now firmly established with a further intake scheduled for November 2011.”

At Stornoway Airport where 61 people are employed, local man, Iain MacIver, was promoted to Senior Air Traffic Controller (SATC) after progressing from the Air Traffic Control Officer role, he started his ATC training in 2001 and validated as a Controller with HIAL in Stornoway in 2002. Local spin-off employment includes: local trades people, an airport caterer, car hire and taxi services. The annual charity car club fund raiser managed by the local team raised over £4,000 last year for local charities.