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Scotland pushes for regional airport focus

Scottish transport minister Keith Brown has said that the south east-centric aviation policy is damaging the Scottish economy and is urging the UK government to take a more regional approach in its new aviation framework.

In submitting the Scottish government’s response to the draft policy framework, Brown highlighted key concerns such as access to Heathrow for Scottish services, aviation taxation and the ability of Scottish airports to compete for new air routes. 

He added that the framework offered little reassurance regarding the current trend of declining access to Heathrow for Scottish and regional UK airports. “Heathrow should be an asset and economic generator for the whole of the UK, not just the south east,” he said.

“Access to Heathrow for domestic services cannot  be left entirely to market forces or we will see Scottish services continue to deteriorate.  In the past five years, the number of flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Heathrow has dropped dramatically.

“There are no practical solutions being offered up at this stage and longer term options such as a third runway at Heathrow, even if approved, would take at least 10 years to deliver, by which time our economy will have suffered massively. “

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