An island airport has faced renewed calls to explain why a passenger plane was allowed to take off without clearance.
The Loganair Saab 2000 flight from Orkney’s Kirkwall to Edinburgh on April 5 last year took off at 8.45pm – three-quarters of an hour after air traffic controllers finished work.
Furious staff, who were involved a pay dispute with airport operators Highland and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) at the time, said the move broke safety rules.
Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael, who has been calling for the report’s release, raised the matter in the House of Commons on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Carmichael, speaking in a Westminster Hall debate, said that HIAL should release the report to restore “public confidence in air travel” in the region.
He said: “There is a problem here. There is a lingering concern about safety and the culture within Highland and Islands Airports and the operation and the relationship between the company and the air-traffic controllers.
“People in the Highlands and Islands want to see this report published and we are not going to give up until it is.”
Transport minister Paul Maynard encouraged Mr Carmichael to “request the report from the airport company”.
A HIAL spokesperson said: “The safety of our staff and passengers is HIAL’s main priority and our safety management system ensures that all incidents are fully investigated.
“Any learnings and recommendations arising from investigations are assessed, shared with HIAL personnel and implemented to ensure the highest standards of safety and aviation management procedures are maintained.
“As with other HIAL investigations, the report content relating to the events that occurred at Kirkwall Airport is shared with HIAL staff and their representatives. We do not publish investigations reports as we must ensure our people can report, investigate and provide information for the investigation into any incidents in a confidential way and in line with our Just Culture.
“We would like to reassure anyone concerned that HIAL has fully investigated the incident and lessons learned shared in line with our procedures. The CAA also investigated the incident and has confirmed it is satisfied that appropriate action has been taken.”