Edinburgh’s Capital Ambitions

Once a relatively small operation serving mainly domestic and regional destinations, today Edinburgh ranks as one of the busiest and fastest growing in the UK. Gordon Smith speaks to the management team at the rapidly expanding complex to discover the secret of its success.

Edinburgh is the busiest the busiest airport in Scotland — its single terminal handled 13.4m passengers in 2017, up 9% over the previous year. Lesley Martin via Edinburgh Airport
The introduction of British European Airways’ Edinburgh to London ‘shuttle service’ heralded the start of passenger operations in 1947. AirTeamImages.com/ ATI Collection
The airport’s CEO Gordon Dewar explained how he and his team have approached the challenge of facilitating rapid growth in the Scottish capital. Peter McNally via Edinburgh Airport

It’s Thursday morning, Edinburgh airport’s check-in hall is busy with business and leisure passengers undergoing their usual pre-flight routines. Bags are weighed, passports verified and boarding passes issued; fundamentally, it is a scene that has changed little over the decades. Yet look a little closer and you’ll see this isn’t the airport it was even five years ago, never mind 50. Beijing sits alongside Birmingham and Bristol on the busy departure board – with Doha, Dubai and New York also making an appearance. While the airport is never going to rival the might of Heathrow or Gatwick, in recent years the Scottish capital has chalked up an impressive roster of direct routes to destinations that were once served almost exclusively from London or Manchester.

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