The long-standing dispute between air traffic controllers and Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) could be brought to an end in time for Christmas.
Union leaders and HIAL representatives yesterday said they were on the verge of thrashing out a potential deal over pay.
Proposals are expected to be put to be put to Prospect Union members later this week, with union leaders recommending them to members.
In the meantime, a halt has been called to all strike action while the deal is considered, with the progress welcomed by politicians.
They hope it will bring an end to the disruption that has blighted some of the airports within the HIAL network for some time.
The dispute, which has rumbled on for 12 months now, was ignited after Prospect members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.
They have been seeking a 10% pay increase, rejecting the airport operator’s offer of a 2% increase.
Talks have been ongoing with few signs of compromise, until now.
The proposed deal still requires the fine details to be agreed, but it is hoped that will take place at a meeting later this week.
HIAL managing director, Inglis Lyon, said: “We are pleased to advise that our talks to resolve the current air traffic control dispute have progressed and Prospect will put our revised offer to their membership.
“Following a further meeting this week to finalise the detail, Prospect will recommend the offer to their members.
“Prospect has confirmed it will lift the work to rule during the period while the offer is under consideration, which we welcome.”
Under the agreement, the work to rule which controllers had been undertaking ceased yesterday at 5pm, reinstating full service to cover out-of-hours provision at HIAL operated airports.
A Prospect spokesman said a “preliminary agreement” has been achieved with a ballot to be issued to its members once final details have been confirmed.
Prospect has agreed to suspend its action while members are consulted.
Local elected members yesterday welcomed the move to resolve the dispute.
Edward Mountain MSP said: “At last, it appears we have some meaningful progress.
“A solution in time for Christmas so that Highlanders and Islanders can travel without fear of delays from strike action would be a great result.”
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said the “unpredictability” of the dispute “has proved particularly disruptive” and had both a financial and reputational cost.
He has called on all parties to work together to rebuild relationships.
Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant said she was pleased a “substantive offer” had been made to resolve the “stalemate”.
She said: “I know that they have not relished the work to rule conditions, but have seen it as necessary.”