Backing based on promises
Gatwick muscles in on Scottish support for Heathrow
It said the expansion plans offer the “greatest strategic and economic benefits to Scotland, creating thousands of jobs and providing a significant boost to the country’s connectivity”.
The airport’s commitments include:
- The creation of up to 16,000 jobs across Scotland from the new capacity.
- Heathrow working with the Scottish Government to investigate Glasgow Prestwick Airport as a potential site for a logistics hub to support the building of the third runway.
- £200m of construction-related spend in Scotland during planning and construction.
- A £10m route development fund to help support new domestic routes.
- From January 2017, a reduction of £10 per passenger on landing charges paid by airlines operating services from Heathrow to Scotland. This will benefit existing services from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and incentivise the introduction of new services.
- A significant, long term marketing campaign at Heathrow to promote all that Scotland has to offer.
- A procurement event in Glasgow to enhance opportunities for Scottish firms to win business.
Heathrow made these commitments in a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Scottish Government today.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown (pictured) said: “We have been clear from the start of this process that we wanted the best deal for Scotland and building a third runway at Heathrow provides the most significant benefits to the country’s economy and connectivity.
“We have engaged extensively with both airports during this process and considered all options very carefully. Gatwick’s proposals are also to be commended.
“However, Heathrow’s plan offers significant job creation, major investment opportunities and, crucially, seeks to address how all of Scotland’s airports benefit from the new runway capacity when it comes and also in the lead-up period.
“The potential for a logistics hub to be based at Glasgow Prestwick Airport is also an important part of the Heathrow offer. It would support the pre-fabrication of components for the construction phase, with potential for future work beyond the launch of the third runway, bringing strong economic benefits to the airport and the wider Ayrshire economy.
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, said: “An expanded Heathrow would create up to 16,000 jobs in Scotland. It would facilitate more airlines flying routes to Scottish airports, meaning more flights, more competition and choice for families and businesses across the nation. That also means more visitors to Scotland, more destinations for Scottish tourists and more opportunity for Scottish businesses to reach new export markets.
“This partnership demonstrates how Heathrow expansion can work for every region and nation of the UK. Now is the time for the UK Government to make the right choice and back Heathrow.”
Gatwick issued a statement challenging the claims.
“We are surprised that the Scottish Government has chosen to support a proposal which we believe will undermine Scotland’s connections with the world, making it more dependent on London and the South East of England and restricting the choice available to Scottish travellers by forcing more of them to fly through London,” it said.
“Furthermore, some of the suggested benefits to Scotland are unlikely to bear serious scrutiny, which makes the decision all the more curious.
“However, we are confident that expansion will happen at Gatwick and that competition will prevail over the old-fashioned monopoly being planned by Heathrow. That would be the best outcome for Scotland.”