9am Briefing: Petition launched against airport's £1 drop-off charge

A PETITION has been launched against plans to charge motorists £1 for dropping off passengers at Edinburgh Airport.

Protesters have accused airport operator BAA of "profiteering" following its decision to introduce charges from the beginning of October.

Lothians Conservative MSP Gavin Brown launched the petition and has also lodged a motion at Holyrood, which has earned cross-party support.

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Airport chiefs insist the charge is needed to cover the 4 million cost of improving services and also to reduce vehicle emissions.

Body of dead soldier to arrive in Britain

AN Edinburgh-born army bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan will be brought back to Britain today.

Corporal Jamie Kirkpatrick, 32, of 101 Engineer Regiment, was the 20th member of UK forces to die last month in the Afghan campaign.

His body will be flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, where his family will attend a private repatriation ceremony.

A hearse carrying his Union Jack-draped coffin will pass along the high street of nearby Wootton Bassett.

Cpl Kirkpatrick, who was born in Edinburgh and lived in Llanelli, south Wales, died in a fight with insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on 27 June.

Hotel evacuated after fire discovered

GUESTS were evacuated from the Macdonald Holyrood hotel yesterday after a fire was discovered in the ground floor toilets.

A fire service spokeswoman said crews were alerted to a smell of burning in the building on Holyrood Road at about 5.30pm yesterday, and dealt with the fire within 15 minutes.

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General manager Chris Wayne-Wills said the fire had been found in a sink in the ground floor ladies' toilets: "We always evacuate whenever there's any alert on our alarm system. We evacuated the building and followed the fire service advice."