Shoreham Airport introduces temporary operational changes due to staff shortages

Shoreham Airport terminal building. Photo: Derek Martin
Shoreham Airport terminal building. Photo: Derek Martin

A shortage of air traffic controllers at Shoreham Airport has led to the temporary introduction of air-ground operation for part of the week.

While the airport will retain an Air Traffic Control operation from Tuesday to Friday, a temporary air-ground operation will be introduced from Saturday to Monday, a spokesman said.

A resident, who asked to remain anonymous, described the situation as ‘a crisis’ and said: “I thought the public deserved to be made aware of the serious nature of this situation.”

But the airport spokesman confirmed that new air traffic controllers were currently being trained and apologised to all airport-based operators, businesses and pilots.

The airport spokesman said: “There is a worldwide shortage of Air Traffic Controllers and it is natural for members of our young, ambitious team to seek more lucrative employment.

“Ours is not a unique situation, and other, similarly sized airports have recently had to make closures due to staff shortages.

“We have already recruited new staff and are in the process of interviewing further candidates.

“This revised, short-term option allows us time to train and standardise new staff, including two of our assistants, who will be sponsored through their full Air Traffic Control training to strengthen the airport’s team.

“Safety is paramount, and we aim to maintain the highest possible level of service, with the aerodrome remaining operational as much as possible.

“We have apologised to all airport-based operators, businesses and pilots and are very grateful to them all, for their ongoing patience and support.”