Call for Scottish aviation guarantee
Mr Brown, along with Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay, held meetings with senior managers of Heathrow and Gatwick Airports in London earlier today to stress the importance to Scotland’s economy of continued access to London’s airports..
It follows the publication of the Airport Commission’s long-awaited report on expansion earlier this year.
Mr Brown said:
“The Scottish Government welcomed the publication of the Airport Commission’s report, and we believe that the operators of both Heathrow and Gatwick put forward well thought through proposals for additional capacity at their airports.
“While we were impartial in terms of the option appraisal that they undertook, we have been clear that we want to see an outcome which fully recognises the two-way benefits of better and more sustainable connectivity between Scotland and London.
“That’s why we want to see guaranteed levels of access between Scotland and London. The move will not only help our economy and businesses to connect to global markets, but will also ensure that the significant numbers of inbound business passengers and tourists travelling through the London airports to Scotland continue to have that option.
“The public statements from both Heathrow and Gatwick on the continuing importance of Scotland to their operations have been encouraging, but we now need guarantees from the airports, and from the UK Government if necessary, which reflect that importance alongside the introduction of new and fairer pricing policies.
“Our submission to the Airport Commission underlined our key strategic interests but, also, made clear that we want to see an optimum outcome for Scotland and for the UK as a whole. There is no reason why the two should not be compatible.
“We believe that this is a matter for the airports to progress now in order to underpin regional services moving forward and in the lead-up to a decision on new runway capacity.”