HIAL and NAFC Sign Memorandum of Understanding

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Exchanging the Memorandum of Understanding: (L to R) Andrew Farquhar (HIAL; Manager Sumburgh Airport), Kevin Main (SIC) Alan Edwards (HIAL), Angela Sutherland and Mark Fullerton (NAFC).

Highland and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) and the NAFC Marine Centre UHI (NAFC) are pleased to announce that they have signed an agreement to jointly provide the STCW Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting course at Sumburgh Airport in Shetland, from September 2018.

It is a requirement for merchant seafarers, including Shetland Island Council’s (SIC) many seafaring staff, to be Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting certificated and to renew their certification every five years. Planned legislation changes mean that this qualification will also be required soon, for new entrant fishermen.

This agreement, over time, will save SIC and other maritime companies in Shetland a significant amount of money that otherwise would have been used to pay for off-island travel and accommodation. It will also reduce the cost of staff days lost due to travel.   

The training facility is complete and the course accreditation process is underway, with the first courses scheduled to run in early autumn 2018.

Andrew Farquhar, Sumburgh Airport Manager said ‘We are delighted to form such a positive partnership with the NAFC to deliver these courses to Shetland’s marine sector, which can only be a good thing for the islands’.

Mark Fullerton, Section Leader of Fisheries and Short Courses at NAFC is also very pleased with the relationship that the NAFC has built up with HIAL, particularly with the Airport Fire Service staff who worked hard to create the course material and who’ll be providing the training at Sumburgh Airport. Mark stated that NAFC are ‘Confident this will be a high quality course which will provide real value to the local shipping and fishing industries’. Mark looks forward to working with HIAL to develop the STCW Advanced Fire Fighting and refresher courses shortly.

The NAFC wish to thank SIC for their invaluable practical support during the negotiation and planning process. NAFC Projects Coordinator, Angela Sutherland, stated that ‘the NAFC plan to provide further STCW courses required by seafarers, in due course. Where it’s practical and sensible, we need to find ways to keep the money spent on training here in Shetland and improve local training facilities’.

For further information please contact Mark Fullerton (mark.fullerton@uhi.ac.uk , 01595 772000).