Leader comment: Flying the flag takes effort

Scotland's major airports are enjoying a boom time. The growth in passenger numbers has been massive thanks to much hard work attracting new airlines and routes fromwhich many of us benefit. These links also bring many overseas visitors to our shores.

Passenger figures at Scottish airports have grown at an impressive rate, but new figures show one in four flights is more than 15 minutes delayed.

Anyone who hasn’t been to Edinburgh Airport in a while will notice major changes – more shops, eating places, gates – testament to increased numbers of passengers.

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But it’s vital that this growth is carefully managed. We report today on how punctuality at Edinburgh and Glasgow has fallen in each of the last three years. Today, around one in four flights will be delayed by more than 15 minutes.

This of course is only part of the story. Delays at check-in, through security, and hold-ups in retrieving baggage after flights are not part of these figures and add to the sense of flying as a stressful experience.

We need our airports to be successful. They are often the first impression for tourists. And they are also vital for our regular business travellers. Growth is welcome, but it must be sustainable and managed carefully.