Isle of Man airport director 'hopeful' to remove daily runway closures by the end of summer

  • Ronaldsway Airport director Gary Cobb says scheduled breaks will remain in place for ATC staff during the TT period

The director of Ronaldsway Airport said he hopes all runway closures will be lifted "towards the back end of summer", following months of daily breaks.

Since August 2023 the Isle of Man runway closes daily in the morning between the hours of 08:30 and 09:05, and 11:00 and 11:35 due to staffing shortages.

Gary Cobb said the situation at the island's airport has improved in the past year, but the air traffic control tower is still not operating at full capacity.

Gary said: "We still continue at two breaks, the two morning breaks. That will continue, but we will just then exit all of the breaks in one go.

"So you won't see a lessening of that. It will just be a complete removal of the breaks. And again, I'm hopeful that towards the back end of summer is a position that we can do."

Ronaldsway Airport's air traffic controllers have to take enforced scheduled breaks twice a day, due to a shortage of trained staff. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

A total of 18 air traffic controllers are required to lift all runway closures, and the airport is currently operating at 17.

Gary said: "The big issue now will be the training of these air traffic controllers.

"We could actually go out and get the 18 now, but as we've got so many people in training, they would actually be sat around waiting for a training seat.

"So we've made that conscious choice not to go for the 18th yet.

"In fact, when we go for the 18th that'll give people an indication that some of the training has been successful and the pipeline has improved."

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