Edinburgh airport overtakes Birmingham to become UK's sixth busiest

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MANAGEMENT at Edinburgh airport are reaching for the sky after securing sixth place in the rankings of the UK's busiest airports.

Now the business is targeting a place in the top five after a major expansion by Ryanair helped the airport soar past Birmingham and move up a place.

The airport said it was closing in on fifth placed Luton and was on course to overtake it within months.

Civil Aviation Authority figures show Edinburgh was the only airport in the top ten to gain passengers in the 12 months to February – up by 1.6 per cent to 9.02 million.

Birmingham shrank by 5.4 per cent to 9.01m, while Luton was down by 8.6 per cent to 9.08m.

Glasgow's total tumbled by 10.6 per cent to 7.14m, placing it eighth.

The figures come days after The Scotsman revealed Edinburgh was now describing itself as "Scotland's airport of choice". An airport spokesman said Ryanair's expansion had "contributed significantly to our success".

Edinburgh passengers for the airline more than doubled from 655,000 to 1.5m last year and are expected to reach 2m in 2010. It has 39 routes.

More than 40 airlines operate from Edinburgh, serving 110 destinations.

Managing director Gordon Dewar said: "We look forward to more growth in 2010 that will hopefully see us climb to the top five UK airports for the first time."

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