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29 - Jun - 2014

New report suggests Scotland would benefit from Gatwick expansion

Now you’re scratching your heads… how could Scotland benefit from Gatwick building a second runway rather than Heathrow getting a third one?  Well, according to a study conducted by Oxford Economics and York Aviation, passengers flying out of Scotland could have the option of as many as 20 additional flights to London, daily!  The study also concluded that a third runway at Heathrow would “do little to improve regional connectivity”, and Edinburgh could lose 4 flights a day! 

Researchers go on to say that expanding Gatwick would bring with it improved connectivity, adding a cool £451million in GVA (Gross Value Added) to Edinburgh, plus 2,590 new jobs by 2050 in predominantly the insurance and financial services.  Glasgow would also gain with a predicted £358million in extra GVA, and 2,620 new jobs.

Should neither airport be expanded, although there’s little possibility of that occurring, Scotland could lose 9 daily flights out of Edinburgh.  But it’s not just Edinburgh airport that would benefit; Aberdeen and Glasgow would gain from more daily flights, according to the report.

It is fair to say that this report will cause a little controversy, and not just among the respective airport supporters.  It will, undoubtedly, cause much consternation for committee members at Heathrow and Gatwick, and here’s why – Glasgow Airport is owned by Heathrow Airport Holdings; Edinburgh Airport is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, who are also partners with Gatwick.

It is fair to say that the Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Liz Cameron, kept things in perspective a little: “Air infrastructure solutions for South East England will be of little benefit to Scotland if we are not better connected to it.”

Daniel Moylan, chief advisor to the Mayor of London, added: “The report nails the lie that a third runway would help the UK cities and regions that Heathrow has left behind.”

We suspect that there’s going to be quite a ripple effect surrounding this report.

By Oliver Derek