The First Minister will know that, from Monday, air traffic controllers working for Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd will start their work to rule, which will result in severe disruption. On 26 April, proposed strike action will close seven airports for 24 hours. Given the importance of air travel to businesses and families in the Highlands and Islands, what contingency plans does the Scottish Government have in place to help?
I am extremely disappointed about the planned strike action. Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd is covered by the public sector pay policy. HIAL has implemented a pay rise for all staff that is an improvement on previous years; it has also increased significantly its contribution to the pension scheme to maintain that benefit for employees. I understand that the issue is to go to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and I hope that we will see early resolution of it, so that the travelling public do not suffer any unnecessary disruption.