Gordon Dewar (CEO of Edinburgh airport): MSPs mistaken to back Heathrow ‘monopoly’ that harms Scottish airports
Gordon Dewar (CEO of Edinburgh airport, with same owners – GIP – as Gatwick, so not a fan of Heathrow expansion) says the Scottish Government made a mistake when it supported Heathrow’s third runway, which will create a “huge monopoly” in the South East and undermine Scotland’s airports. He says while Heathrow is spending a lot of time and money trying to get Scottish backing for its 3rd runway, the reality is that allowing Heathrow to become bigger would be “to the detriment of Scotland’s airports and Scottish travellers, and those around the UK for that matter.” He says while – in order to secure the Scottish Government’s support – Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye made a number of promises “about the appointment of Scottish suppliers and the use of Prestwick Airport as a logistics hub. He also promised 16,000 jobs, £200m of construction spend and £10m of cash to support route development in and out of Scotland.” ….Dewar says those backing Heathrow’s runway should “ask how those promises are being delivered and what safeguards are in place to ensure that they are.” (None?)
Gordon Dewar 9CEO of Edinburgh airport): MSPs back Heathrow ‘monopoly’ that harms Scottish airports
By Gordon Dewar, CEO of Edinburgh Airport (owned by the same owners as Gatwick airport, and therefore not a fan of the Heathrow 3rd runway)
Thursday 10 May 2018 (Scotsman)
The Scottish Government made a mistake when it supported Heathrow’s third runway, which will create a “huge monopoly” in the South East and undermine Scotland’s airports, writes Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar.
Tonight, two contrasting events will take place in Edinburgh. At the Scottish Parliament, the SNP MSP Kate Forbes has joined forces with the Chambers of Commerce in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness to host a lobbying reception for London’s busiest airport, Heathrow.
It should be remembered that to secure the Scottish Government’s support for its expansion, Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, made a number of promises around the appointment of Scottish suppliers and the use of Prestwick Airport as a logistics hub. He also promised 16,000 jobs, £200m of construction spend and £10m of cash to support route development in and out of Scotland.
Hopefully those attending today’s event in Holyrood’s Garden Lobby will take the time to ask how those promises are being delivered and what safeguards are in place to ensure that they are.
Across the city, I will be hosting a big party to celebrate Scotland’s first direct air route to and from China. The route, to be flown by Hainan Airlines, is the product of years of hard work and a steely determination on the part of my team at Edinburgh Airport to grow Scotland’s direct route network without the old-fashioned and completely unnecessary stop in London on the way.
I give credit to the Chinese consulate here in Edinburgh, and particularly to Pan Xinchun, the Consul General, who has supported our efforts along the way. I also thank the Scottish Government for its support in securing this route and we will no doubt take some time to celebrate Emirates’ decision this week to add Dubai to the growing list of international destinations served directly from Edinburgh.
But, Scotland should be much more ambitious when it comes to its connections with the world. We do not invest nearly enough in promoting this brilliant country around the world and the Scottish Government’s decision to throw its weight behind a third runway at a London airport that will inevitably undermine Scotland’s airports was a mistake.
That some of our Chambers of Commerce are more focused on Heathrow than on the challenges faced by local airports is equally disappointing and it surely their job to speak up for their members and the choice and good value being offered here in Scotland and not just London.
We have always maintained that allowing Heathrow to become bigger will be to the detriment of Scotland’s airports and Scottish travellers, and those around the UK for that matter.
Time will tell of course, and there are many hurdles for Heathrow to cross before it can put a spade in the ground on a third runway; but it stands to reason that creating a huge monopoly airport in the South East of England will adversely affect the ability of other airports around the country to compete for airlines’ business.
Heathrow’s management used to boast that one of its great benefits is the high fares airlines can charge passengers there, which tells you everything you need to know about who pays for these daft decisions.
So as the Scottish Parliament’s event draws to a close tonight, and Heathrow thanks its Scottish cheerleaders for a lobbying job well done, I’ll happily welcome guests to our much more exciting celebration of what can be achieved if we raise our sights and imagine what we can do without London’s help. Whether we choose to do so remains to be seen.
Gordon Dewar is the chief executive of Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport calls for Scotland to rethink relationship with London Airports
Edinburgh Airport press release
In the light of the UK Government’s decision to delay a decision on new London airports capacity, the chief executive of Edinburgh Airport has called for Scotland to rethink its relationship with London’s airports.
Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive, said:
“Regardless of the merits of its case, we have long believed that a new runway at Heathrow is undeliverable and would in any case be a poor choice for Scotland. We are where we have been many times before and it is time for new thinking.
“At Edinburgh, we will launch 26 new routes between this winter and next summer and our unprecedented growth is being driven by direct international traffic, in turn fuelled by Edinburgh and Scotland’s growing global reputation as a year round destination for international visitors.
“We now have some of the world’s largest airlines serving Europe, the Middle East and North America from Edinburgh.
“We no longer need to think of ourselves as feeder airports for London airports, whether Heathrow or Gatwick, and the Government’s move to delay a final decision on London airports must be seen as an opportunity to rethink our relationship with those airports in the south.
“We might be owned by the same company that owns Gatwick, but we are run independently and I am happy to compete aggressively with Gatwick and other airports for Scotland’s share of air traffic to and from this country. That competition can only exist if we move on from the age-old obsession with Heathrow, which has been supported many times in the past and which has been grounded every time.
“Our plans for further expansion go hand-in-hand with aspirations for Scotland to have greater leverage on global scale; Edinburgh Airport’s growth directly leads to job creation and enhances connectivity and tourism spending here in Scotland.
“Scotland is punching above its weight in the world aviation industry; all of our airports – supported by the Scottish Government and others – are better connected than they have ever been.
“We should be confidently standing on our two feet and completely redefining our relationship with Gatwick and Heathrow, and I look forward to building support for that case over the next few months.”
Notes to editors:
Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport and is on track to make 2015 its busiest year ever.
Between winter 2015 and summer 2016 we will have launched 26 new routes. This means we have 174 routes in total. Servicing 122 destinations
Edinburgh Airport last week announced that its passenger growth has delivered the busiest November ever seen at a Scottish airport http://news.stv.tv/east-central/1335589-edinburgh-experiences-busiest-ever-november-at-a-scottish-airport/