Airport options

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Your article, “SNP MPs in transport driving seat” (24 April), refers to the unique role that SNP MPs could have in the next parliament to influence airport expansion in south-east England.

Expansion at Heathrow is a crucial issue for Scotland, as the outcome is vital to its global connectivity and its ability to trade and create jobs and growth.

Scottish airports have rightly built links with other hub airports in Europe and the 
Middle East, but there are still more flights per day and more passengers travelling from 
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow than any other airport. As long as Heathrow is full, the world’s ability to connect to Scotland is stunted.

Research has shown that expanding Heathrow would create up to 16,100 jobs in Scotland, almost four times as many as from expanding Gatwick.

This is because Heathrow, unlike Gatwick, complements the role of Scottish airports by connecting passengers to growth markets in every corner of the globe.

Indeed, only Heathrow carries freight as well as passengers, with £290 million worth of Scottish salmon passing through Heathrow to reach clients in China and North America.

Scottish businesses overwhelmingly back expanding Heathrow over Gatwick, including chambers of commerce in Inverness, Aberdeen and Glasgow, as well as the overall Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The choice is between expanding Heathrow or Gatwick, but only one can bring Scotland to the world and the world to Scotland.

It is right for all Scottish MPs of all parties to secure what works best for Scotland from the next government, and that means expanding Heathrow.

Nigel Milton

Heathrow Airport