Heathrow have received a boost after the Scottish government announced its backing for its runway plan, which it claimed would create up to 16,000 jobs across Scotland. Environmental campaigners and Green politicians decried the move as “a disaster for climate change”, and questioned whether the promised jobs would ever in fact materialise. The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, believes there would be more benefits for Scotland from a Heathrow runway than a Gatwick one. A series of commitments, including on jobs, investigating the use of Glasgow Prestwick airport as a potential site for a logistics hub for building the 3rd runway, and a reduction of £10 per passenger on landing charges paid by airlines operating services from Heathrow to Scotland, are apparently included in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Heathrow airport and the SNP government on Monday 10th. Opponents are surprised by this move, as GIP owns both Gatwick and Edinburgh airports, and the SNP are behind the growth of Edinburgh airport. What Scotland wants is more of direct international air routes, not necessarily routes via Heathrow, for business and for cargo (imports and exports). More flights will mean more money taken out of Scotland on leisure trips – something airport expansion advocates always ignore. The current Scottish tourism deficit is already around £1.5 billion per year.
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