DELAYS are part and parcel of air travel. But how efficient are Scotland’s major airports compared to years previous, asks Sofiane Kennouche
Undoing the good work of 2013, it has been found that nearly 20 per cent of flights to and from Edinburgh and Glasgow airports in 2014 were more than a quarter of an hour overdue, according to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Using data collated in 2013, previous figures from Transport Scotland in its 2014 report showed that the average time for delayed flights at both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports were at their lowest for ten years.
Glasgow Airport’s average delay time in 2014 was 10 minutes; an identical figure to that of its eastern counterpart. Both Scottish airports are below the national average delay of 14 minutes in the same period, which takes into account airports from all over the country.
With a recently redeveloped and extended runway, Glasgow Airport was awarded Airport of the Year earlier this month at the National Transport Awards. It also experienced its fourth consecutive year of growth in 2014 and its biggest year since 2008.
Though figures for Aberdeen International Aiport’s average delay were not included in the Transport Scotland study, The Scotsman has learned that 88.84 per cent per cent of scheduled passenger flights at Aberdeen were on time in 2014. The Granite City’s airport also recorded the highest number of combined commercial and non-commercial movements of the three, with 118,000 total flights and departures.
Airport punctuality figures for 2015 will be affected by the dramatic slowdown of arrivals and departures at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports earlier this week, following technical problems at the Scottish Airspace Control Centre. With many flights delayed on the morning of Monday 26 October, the fault was later traced to interference in the radio frequencies used to communicate with aircraft.
While Scottish airports dealt with fewer delays than their English counterparts in 2014, Brian McClean, head of communications and public affairs at Glasgow Airport, advises that figures for lost or delayed luggage are not included in the Transport Scotland report as they are the responsibility of each individual airline.