Scotland business

Edinburgh records busiest ever month for a Scottish airport

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport has reported the highest number of passengers for a Scottish airport on record.

During July, 1,332,282 passengers passed through the airport - a 9.6% increase on the same month last year.

The head of Edinburgh Airport said that despite the growth, there was evidence the Brexit vote had damaged the aviation business.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar also said it further highlighted the cause for a cut in Air Passenger Duty.

Scottish ministers have said they will cut the duty by 50% between 2018 and 2021.

'International ambitions'

While domestic passenger numbers at the airport actually fell 3.6% in 2016 compared with 2015, the airport saw an 18.5% increase on international passengers over the period.

Mr Dewar said: "European airports' growth for the first half of the year is at 4.9%; our growth over same six-month period compared to the last year is more than double that.

"Despite our encouraging growth, there is evidence of damage to the aviation business that has followed the Brexit vote - this further highlights the need to reduce Air Passenger Duty as soon as possible.

Image caption Glasgow Airport saw its passenger numbers top the one million mark in July

"Cutting APD will be a strong demonstration of Scotland's international ambitions. It will send a powerful signal to the global airline market that Scotland is most definitely open for business, and would go some way to counter the negative business impact of the UK's plans to leave the EU."

Glasgow Airport also saw its passenger numbers top the one million mark, with 1,018,433 boarding flights in July - a rise of 6.4% on a year ago.

Oil downturn

Its numbers are slowly returning to the 2006 highs seen before the financial crisis, when the annual figure topped 8.8 million passengers.

However, Aberdeen International Airport saw its passenger numbers drop by nearly 16%, with 293,136 people using the airport in July.

International and domestic traffic was down 8.4% and 18.7% respectively, with helicopter traffic also down 22.3%.

Despite the drop and the North Sea oil downturn, airport bosses said they were pushing ahead with £20m plans to extend the existing terminal.

Image caption Aberdeen Airport has seen a decline in passenger numbers, which fell nearly 16% over the past year.

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