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BAA Scotland seeks public`s views on the first of its three `Airports of the future`

BAA Scotland yesterday launched a wide-ranging consultation exercise around a long-term development blueprint for the future of Edinburgh Airport

BAA Scotland yesterday launched a wide-ranging consultation exercise around a long-term development blueprint for the future of Edinburgh Airport , which could see as many 10,000 new jobs supported by the airport by 2030.

The Edinburgh Airport Outline Master Plan, which looks forward to how the airport might develop between now and 2030, was formally launched at the Capital`s airport by BAA Scotland`s managing director Donal Dowds and Edinburgh Airport managing director Richard Jeffrey.

Mr Dowds said: “Today`s plan is the first of three exciting views of the future BAA Scotland will publish this year, in response to the UK Government`s 2003 White Paper.

“The long-term approach adopted by the Government represents a step change in strategic planning terms and is the right way forward, for Scotland, its economy and its communities.

“We hope that local people, and the many people and organisations with an interest in each of our airports, will take this opportunity to share their views with our planners and influence the final versions of our master plans, which will be published at the end of the year.”

Edinburgh Airport`s master plan looks in detail at the next eight years and then in more general terms at the remaining years to 2030.

According to a study by Scotland`s Fraser of Allander Institute in 2002, Edinburgh Airport generates some £287 million for the Scottish economy. The airport also supports employment for 2,300 people who work at the airport and a further 5,000 whose jobs rely on the airport indirectly.

If the airport expands as forecast in the outline master plan, BAA expects that direct employment will rise to 9,000 in 2030. If the number of indirect employment opportunities increases at the same rate, as many as 10,000 new jobs could be created.

The outline master plan anticipates that, by 2013, the airport could be handling between 12 and 13.7 million passengers a year (up from 8.0 million today), with around 160,000 annual landings and take-offs.

Beyond 2013, to 2030, forecasts suggest that up to 26 million people might be using Edinburgh Airport every year, with more than half that number travelling direct to and from a wide range of international destinations, from across Europe, North America and the Middle East. Modifications to the main runway at Edinburgh would be carried out to facilitate larger aircraft travelling on long-haul routes.

In the latter period covered by the master plan, and based on current forecasts and Government policy, a second parallel runway may be required at Edinburgh Airport. Furthermore, the requirements for aircraft parking and terminal development will necessitate the relocation of the Royal Highland Showground, as originally proposed by Ministers in the 2003 White Paper.

During the period covered by the master plan, Edinburgh Airport could be served by a rail link (EARL), a tram connection and a number of new road connections. BAA Scotland is committed to increasing the numbers of passengers who access its airports by public transport and looks forward to more choice and a properly integrated surface access system.

Inside the terminal building, more check-in desks, departure lounges and baggage systems will be required to meet the rising demand. The airport will be developed as a single terminal airport, with extensions to the South, East and West of the existing building.

Clearly, future growth of the airport will impact on local communities and the environment. BAA has long promoted a series of strategies for managing environmental impacts and has included details of these in the outline master plan.

In a programme of community engagement, being rolled out in the next few weeks, BAA`s managers, led by managing director Richard Jeffrey, will tour local communities to discuss the long-tem plans for airport development in an effort to better understand the airport`s impact, both in social and economic terms and in relation to the environment.

Richard Jeffrey, managing director of Edinburgh Airport, said: “This master plan represents the beginning of an exciting chapter in this airport`s history.

“Today, we are unveiling a blueprint of the developments which will set the stage for Edinburgh`s future, serving Scotland`s capital city, employing thousands of local people, delivering hundreds of millions of pounds to the local economy and providing world-class facilities and strong international connections, on which Scotland can base further growth in tourism and the wider economy.

“This master plan also considers the environmental impact of our business and we understand that we can only grow with the support and trust of our neighbours. That is why I will be out and about between now and August listening to as many people as possible and understanding what matters to local people and key stakeholders from business and politics.”

Airport master plans are being produced at each BAA airport in Scotland, following the UK Government`s 2003 White Paper, which delivered an air transport policy to 2030. Plans will follow in the next two months at Glasgow and Aberdeen.

A consultation process will be put in place at each airport, before all views are considered ahead of the publication of final master plans at the end of the year.

Copies of the master plan can be downloaded from BAA`s web site – or by writing to Anne Follin, planning and development manager, Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh EH12 9DN.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.