New airport managers for Islay and Tiree

New Islay Airport manager Niall Colthart
New Islay Airport manager Niall Colthart

New managers have been appointed at two island airports.

The senior management positions at Tiree and Islay have been accepted by John MacCaskill and Niall Colthart respectively.

The Islay appointment follows the suspension and now redeployment of former boss Duncan MacGillivray who had faced allegations of breaching safety regulations by leaving the airport understaffed when a plane was due to land.

A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) said: “Following the conclusion of an internal process a member of staff was redeployed elsewhere within the business.

“We have an exceptionally strong and experienced team now in place to deliver the essential connections between Islay and the mainland.”

His replacement Mr Colthart has firm roots at Islay Airport as his father was station engineer and an auxiliary firefighter.

Mr Colthart himself celebrated 20 years at the facility in July this year, having joined as a firefighter aged 21 and progressing to crew manager.

He said: “Due to the size and nature of Islay Airport, I’ve already been involved with several aspects of the day-to-day operations, alongside my primary duty within the airport fire service.

“I’m looking forward to leading the team at Islay Airport in my new position as station manager, while also ensuring that the island has a successful airport operation.”

New Tiree manager Mr MacCaskill has held a number of roles at Hial having worked as part of the corporate operational support team in air traffic services for the past 12 years.

Previous to this he worked at HIAL’s Inverness head office as part of the health and safety subdivision.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “It’s great to welcome two local islanders to join the teams at Tiree and Islay airports. Both men have exceptional experience and knowledge of their airports and the local communities.

“The station manager job is a multi-faceted role encompassing all aspects of the airport operation. I am confident that our new station managers will rise to the challenges associated with running a remote island airport.”