Aberdeen Airport passenger figures fall 11% in a year

282,739 people travelled through Aberdeen Airport last month. Picture: contributed.
282,739 people travelled through Aberdeen Airport last month. Picture: contributed.
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Passenger figures have fallen at Aberdeen Airport, despite increased footfall in other Scottish airports.

Mixed fortunes for Scotland’s main airports last month have been laid bare in newly-released figures.

It’s disappointing to see that our passenger numbers are currently being affected by the decline in the local economy.

Aberdeen Airport managing director Carol Benzie

Glasgow Airport said it has recorded its busiest summer yet and Edinburgh Airport said the success of this year’s Festival Fringe helped it to a near 12 per cent jump in August passenger numbers.

But Aberdeen Airport - in an area hit heavily by the North Sea oil downturn - experienced a decrease of 11.7 per cent in passenger numbers compared to the same point last year.

Exactly 283,739 people travelled through the north east airport last month, reflecting a decrease of more than 12 per cent in domestic traffic and a decline of more than nine per cent in international traffic.

Managing director Carol Benzie said: “It’s disappointing to see that our passenger numbers are currently being affected by the decline in the local economy, but our ongoing terminal transformation project shows that we are planning ahead and looking forward to a positive future.

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“Our three-year project will see a 50 per cent increase in the size of the existing terminal and is a significant investment for the city, in spite of the North Sea oil downturn.”

The first phase of the £20 million terminal transformation project is under way and is due to be completed by June next year.

Elsewhere, Glasgow Airport said it remains on course to have its busiest ever year.

More than 943,000 passengers used the hub in August, representing a 7.4 per cent increase on the same point last year.

The figures mean that almost three million passengers used Glasgow Airport during the peak summer months, officials said.

Managing director Amanda McMillan said: “August was an extremely busy month for the airport.”

And Scotland’s busiest airport, Edinburgh, saw 1,296,189 travellers pass through its doors in August.

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Bosses said that represented an 11.9 per cent increase on the same month the previous year, with growth in both international (18.4%) and domestic passengers (2.1 per cent) taking the airport to its second-busiest month.

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar pointed to the popularity of this summer’s festival season as he welcomed the latest numbers.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society recently announced that an estimated 2.47 million tickets had been issued for shows across Scotland’s capital, reflecting a 7.7 per cent increase compared with the same point the year before.

Mr Dewar said: “The success of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe - with tickets issued up nearly eight per cent on 2015 - gives a strong indication of the growing draw of Edinburgh.”

Edinburgh Airport apologised last week after almost 200 responses to a public consultation on altering flight paths above the capital were lost.

Officials extended the consultation’s closing date by one week, to the end of Monday September 19, to allow people to resubmit their feedback.

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