It could be as long as three years before the Isle of Man Airport has enough air traffic control staff to prevent disruption to flights.

Gary Cobb, Ronaldsway’s director, told Manx Radio: ‘If an air traffic controller goes over their scheduled time by a minute, they will be called into the Civil Aviation Administration and their licence will potentially be in jeopardy.’

The Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) is the division of the Department for Enterprise that is responsible for regulating aviation safety and security in the Isle of Man, as well as regulating the Isle of Man Airport.

It is responsible for ensuring aviation legislation in the Isle of Man meets International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices and other relevant European aviation standards.

Under Civil Aviation Administration regulations, those in air traffic control can be in the tower for only 90 minutes at a time.

Retiring staff means the workforce isn’t always able to overlap ‘fatigue breaks’, and subsequently flights are delayed.