Time for a rethink
Airport boss says Edinburgh ‘need not rely on London’
Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar says it is time Scotland began to rethink its relationship with London’s hubs and develop its own international links.
On the back of the long-running discussions over an extra runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow, Mr Dewar says the eventual outcome would not be any benefit for Scotland.
“Regardless of the merits of its case, we have long believed that a new runway at Heathrow is undeliverable and would in any case be a poor choice for Scotland,” he said. “We are where we have been many times before and it is time for new thinking.
“At Edinburgh, we will launch 26 new routes between this winter and next summer and our unprecedented growth is being driven by direct international traffic, in turn fuelled by Edinburgh and Scotland’s growing global reputation as a year round destination for international visitors.
“We now have some of the world’s largest airlines serving Europe, the Middle East and North America from Edinburgh.”
Mr Dewar said Edinburgh’s growth meant it could stand on its own against other international airports.
‘We no longer need to think of ourselves as feeder airports for London airports, whether Heathrow or Gatwick, and the Government’s move to delay a final decision on London airports must be seen as an opportunity to rethink our relationship with those airports in the south,” he said.
“We might be owned by the same company that owns Gatwick, but we are run independently and I am happy to compete aggressively with Gatwick and other airports for Scotland’s share of air traffic to and from this country.
“That competition can only exist if we move on from the age-old obsession with Heathrow, which has been supported many times in the past and which has been grounded every time.”
He said the plans for further expansion go hand-in-hand with aspirations for Scotland to have greater leverage on global scale.
“Scotland is punching above its weight in the world aviation industry; all of our airports – supported by the Scottish Government and others – are better connected than they have ever been.
“We should be confidently standing on our two feet and completely redefining our relationship with Gatwick and Heathrow, and I look forward to building support for that case over the next few months.”