Edinburgh urges Scottish Government to back aviation recovery

A new report by Edinburgh Airport calls on the government to help Scottish aviation, claiming that its recovery is slower than that in other regions  

The report, ‘The Importance of Aviation to Scotland’s Economic Success,’ highlighted the poor progress being made by the national aviation sector compared to its competitors elsewhere in Europe. It also set out measures that it claims could increase the speed of the sector’s recovery.  

Edinburgh Airport
Photo Edinburgh Airport

Proposals include the government engaging with the industry to seek optimisation of travel restrictions and their relaxation, a clear roadmap for easing of restrictions, reduction or removal of air passenger duty (ADP) for 2022, and recognition that secure airside transfer via international hubs is not classified as having been in a ‘red’ list country. 

The proposals coincide with the relaxation of travel rules in England, including the removal of the traffic light system in favour of a simplified two-list system and fully vaccinated passengers no longer needing expensive PCR tests, instead taking a lateral flow test up to two days after their return. 

One of the other points of contention in the airport’s report was the need for a consistent four nations approach which, according to the facility, would “enable Scottish airports to compete fairly with other UK airports”.  

 Gordon Dewar, CEO of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Aviation has been one of the hardest hit sectors throughout the pandemic and we will be one of the last to fully recover.  

“Unfortunately, we are lagging behind our competitors due to tighter restrictions and slower relaxations and will only isolate ourselves further if we don’t have a coherent strategy in place. This is a chain economy – travel brings people, jobs, investment and spend to Scotland, and we must act to protect the travel sector and its many moving parts.” 

The report, which warned that some airlines have already moved capacity into other regions, thereby pushing back a meaningful Scottish recovery to 2022, has been shared with government ministers.