A study published today by the BBC has found that Edinburgh Airport contributes nearly £1 billion to the Scottish economy ever year, and supports more than 23,000 jobs across the country.
The research, prepared by BiGGAR Economics, predicts that by 2020, Scotland’s capital city airport will be worth between £1.1 billion and £1.6 billion GVA per year and the level of economic activity could support up to 40,300 Scottish jobs. As much as half of those benefits will be felt outside the capital itself.
The BiGGAR Economics report comes on the back of a period of impressive growth. The airport now handles more than 11 million passengers a year, compared with around five million in 1999.
Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive, said: “Edinburgh Airport is an increasingly important economic asset for the country as a whole, and these figures demonstrate just how important a competitive airport is for a country with Scotland’s ambition and international profile.
“Our growth in recent years has been supported by one of the largest private investments of its kind in national infrastructure, to build new facilities and attract an unprecedented number of new, direct international connections to Scotland.
“The result, as the BiGGAR report shows, is nearly £1 billion of economic value and a social impact that extends to more than 20,000 jobs. Those figures will increase and by 2020, we could be supporting twice as many jobs as we do now.
“The challenge for us now is to grow the airport responsibly, working with our neighbours and with our partners in the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Government and elsewhere, to sustain the social and economic benefits of an airport that is Scotland’s principal gateway to the world.”
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “As Scotland’s busiest airport, Edinburgh Airport plays an important role in Scottish tourism, not least in offering many domestic and international visitors an introduction to our wonderful country.
“Strengthening air connectivity is key to growing the visitor economy and we welcome this predicted growth at Edinburgh Airport which will have a knock-on effect for tourism across the whole of Scotland.”
Edinburgh’s Economy convener, councillor Gavin Barrie, said: “This study proves that Edinburgh Airport is a key driver for our economy and for Edinburgh’s international standing as a top visitor and business destination.
“The number of passengers travelling through our airport has increased by 22 per cent in the last four years making it the busiest airport in Scotland. As flight routes and passenger numbers continue to increase, so too will local job opportunities and the scale of the economic contribution associated with the airport.”