I NOTE with interest Uisdean Robertson’s recent Analysis article on plans by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) concerning air traffic control ("Centralisation of air traffic control is a waste of money", The Herald, March 17). I support Mr Robertson’s right to express his opinion, however, allow me to correct some of the inaccuracies in the article:

1) The budget is circa £32 million. To suggest costs will run into hundreds of millions is fanciful and unfounded.

2) When given the choice of where to locate the new surveillance centre, the staff voted for Inverness as the preferred option.

3) The company did not slip out the news about the change to air traffic provision on Benbecula. Managers briefed our Benbecula team ahead of a public announcement. Our responsibility is to our staff first and foremost. Stakeholders (including local politicians) were informed at a local engagement session thereafter.

4) Our consultant recognised the project as being the most challenging but it is not the costliest.

5)The ATMS project was signed off by the then Transport Minister, has been passed by the Transport Scotland IDB (Investment Decision Board) and, of course, the HIAL Board.

6) The Islands Impact Assessment will be undertaken by HIAL using an economist who has worked for several island local authorities previously. I can assure you it will be independent. However and to be clear, HIAL is not legally obliged to undertake an assessment, but has confirmed it will do so to ensure island impacts are captured and where possible mitigated.

The air traffic management systems programme is the most significant project HIAL has ever undertaken. I am more than willing to explain our rationale and have done so since day one via face-to-face briefings with stakeholders and through an extensive communication and engagement programme.

Inglis Lyon, Managing Director, Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, Inverness.

Debt to the Spiders

ALEX Orr's interesting letter (March 24) on how a group from Perthshire and the Highlands turned football into a passing game as opposed to head-down dribbling does not mention that prior to that there was no offside rule. An early Queen's Park official felt that this tended to "loafing and sneaking".

The inaugural meeting referred to by Mr Orr was held in licensed premises in Victoria Road, Glasgow. Various names for the club were used, Celts, Northerners and Morayshire, and it was in 1869 that the name Queen's Park was adopted by a narrow margin.

Football as we know it owes much to these young men of 1867.

David Miller, Milngavie.

A hearing boon

THE correspondence on hearing aids (Letters, March 240, 21 & 23), reminded me that some years ago an elderly relative proudly informed me that his new hearing aid was “the best that money could buy”. When I asked him what it had cost, he helpfully replied, “half-past two”. Subject closed.

On a more serious note, I am surprised at how many with hearing difficulties associated with poor-quality sound from flat screen televisions, even with a sound bar, are unfamiliar with wireless headphones, which allow individual sound levels, or silent mode, when two are viewing; and thank goodness for subtitles.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.