Criticism of policy

Airport boss: ‘Sturgeon is campaigning against us’

Gordon Dewar

Gordon Dewar: critical of government policy

Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive has accused First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of campaigning against his industry and said the vaccine roll-out plan was “woefully inadequate”.

Gordon Dewar raised objections to Ms Sturgeon saying at Wednesday’s covid briefing that she would not “right now” be booking summer holidays due to the uncertainty about the state of the pandemic around the world.

Mr Dewar told a parliamentary hearing: “Yesterday, the First Minister actively called for people not to book their summer holidays next year.

“We’ve got the First Minister campaigning against our industry.”

In a brutal assessment of government policy, he said ministers had left Scotland as the last country in Europe without a proper testing system in place.

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He said the system for applying vaccine will not be fast enough to prevent the demise of large parts of the aviation industry.

Speaking to Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee today, Mr Dewar spoke of a near wipe-out in passenger traffic – currently down by 95% on last year – and of his frustration over attempts to implement a testing regime at the airport. He accused the government of standing in the way of progress.

“We’ve spent the last three months, nearly four now, trying to agree and implement a robust aviation testing regime,” he said.

“Hurdle after hurdle has been thrown at us and put in our way.

“We’re now in the bizarre position of possibly having to submit an FOI (freedom of information) request to see a submission to ministers containing a proposed solution.”

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