Response to emissions

Edinburgh Airport to tackle carbon concerns after record year

Edinburgh airport

Record flights: the airport is managing growth ‘sustainably’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh Airport is working on a new strategy to meet concerns over carbon emissions after announcing a surge in passengers last year.

The airport had the busiest year for a Scottish Airport as new routes and airlines saw it handle a record 14,747,830 travellers.

The numbers are up 3.1% on 2018 with growth in international passengers driving the increase against a fall in domestic travel.

But Gordon Dewar, chief executive, acknowledged that a rise in passenger numbers needs to be managed against growing concerns over the aviation industry’s contribution to pollution and climate change. He will be unveiling a plan to tackle the issue.

“We never lose sight of the fact that the airport is a conduit to a whole host of things. We play our part in tourism, business, education, research and culture. We are that gateway to Scotland and to the world, and direct connectivity to countries across the world plays a huge part in that success,” he argued.

“Clearly, we want to see that success continue to benefit Edinburgh and Scotland and travel will always be a part of that, but we do have a responsibility to manage that success in a sustainable manner.

Gordon Dewar: ‘We have a responsibility to manage success sustainably’ (pic: Terry Murden)

“We appreciate that we need to show leadership in this area and we are currently finalising a strategy which will map out our approach to operations at Edinburgh to make them even more sustainable than they already are. We look forward to sharing that strategy and engaging with our communities on it.”

The domestic market was 8.9% lower than December 2018 due to Ryanair axeing its Stansted route and Flybe ceasing the East Midlands service, both in October 2019.

The negative impact was softened by strong performance on other domestic routes: British Airways had more frequencies on Heathrow & Gatwick compared to December 2018 while Loganair launched a route to East Midlands in October 2019

The international market was up 10.2% due to strong growth in the short-haul segment.

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