Transport Minister comments on Airports Commission report
Commenting on the findings of the report from the Airports Commission, Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said:
“After decades of prevarication over airport expansion, this report now shows a way forward and the UK Government must act on it.
“The Scottish Government’s response to the Commission was impartial but pressed the importance of guaranteeing Scotland adequately benefits from new capacity. We welcome the Commission’s report and specifically Sir Howard’s recognition that good connections between an expanded Heathrow and Scotland’s airports are vital in respect of business connectivity, inbound tourism, and getting Scotland’s products to the global market.
“The Scottish Government has been voicing for some time concern on the direction of travel of Scotland’s connections to Heathrow and, in parallel with our engagement with the Commission, the Scottish Government has also worked directly with both Heathrow and Gatwick. We welcome Heathrow’s commitment to introduce a regional pricing structure for airport charges, which was one of the key issues highlighted in our response to the Airports Commission. This will help maintain key links between Scotland and London and encourage greater competition on these routes.
“We are clear that Scotland needs to have a strong mix of direct services – where we have made significant strides in recent years – and strong connections to global hubs like Heathrow. Sir Howard’s recommendation that Public Service Obligations are used in a new way to ensure appropriate connectivity from nations to an expanded Heathrow is also welcome.
“We want to ensure Scotland’s airports adequately benefit from this new capacity at Heathrow and reiterate our call for a defined minimum level of access for flights from Scotland. This would help Scottish businesses to connect to global markets and ensure that the significant numbers of inbound tourists travelling through Heathrow have the best possible access when it comes to connecting to Scotland.”