Letters: Aviation ash crisis brought very best out of Edinburgh

LAST week Edinburgh Airport found itself involved in one of the biggest crises to hit aviation in years. We're still counting the cost of the impact of the volcano that closed Scottish and the UK and European airspace for six days.

Much of the brunt of the impact will be borne by the aviation industry, but many others were caught up in the fallout, most notably those passengers stranded in foreign airports.

When we realised the extent of the crisis, I put a call for help out to the Edinburgh tourism community. We needed assistance with stranded passengers.

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The response was astonishing and does our city great credit.

Within a matter of hours, we were flooded with discounts on hotel rooms, meals and other facilities to make our passengers' stay as easy as possible.

As well as the hotel trade, organisations including City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise all assisted.

I would like to express my deep thanks to the city for its warm and supportive response to people that were clearly in need.

It is this warmth that visitors have come to expect in the Capital that helps to ensure that it remains one of the world's key destinations.

I'm pleased that even in a period of great adversity for many that we were able to rise to the occasion.

The aftermath of this crisis will affect many, but I'm confident that if we adopt the same collaborative and unselfish approach that we will be able to tackle these challenges head on.

Gordon Dewar, managing director, Edinburgh Airport

Volcano has more power than Labour

THE Icelandic volcano has done more to stop illegal immigration in ten days than Labour has done in the last ten years.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Pledge to restore units is a winner

I WAS delighted when I read that Alex Salmond had included in the SNP manifesto the pledge to restore our Scottish regiments.

We all remember when the Labour party were penny-pinching and one of their ways to get money was to merge and amalgamate our much-loved around the world regiments.

We told them it was wrong to do so, we marched in six cities, we put together a huge petition but all was in vain, the man who executed this and would not listen was the now disgraced defence secretary Geoff Hoon.

The Tories and Lib Dems vowed to help but this is all now pie in the sky and they have said that it is now impossible to restore our regiments – politicians don't half change their minds, just like our weather.

If the SNP are serious in attempting to restore our regiments then they have just secured my vote

We told the Labour party, mess about with our regiments, and you will inherit a lot of enemies, which is now the case.

Major Bob Ritchie MBE, Livingston

Name that made Tavish look silly

FAUX pas of the week must go to Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott who launched his party's manifesto in Leith Docks (News, 21 April).

After a trip around the harbour, Mr Scott said: "By refurbishing ports like Edinburgh we can tap into the industries of the future."

Just over a year ago thousands of local people supported the Save Leith campaign, which stopped our port being rebranded as Edinburgh Harbour.

The Liberal Democrats have shot themselves in the foot.

Ian Lutton, Boswall Road, Trinity, Edinburgh

Worrying times for construction

THE latest GDP figures for Scotland make for worrying reading for the construction sector.

While the Scottish economy as a whole showed some weak signs of recovery in the last three months of last year, output from the building sector fell by a further 2.8 per cent.

Also, the signs are that construction south of the Border is beginning to stabilise but this appears not to be the case in Scotland. With the bad weather we had in early 2010, I fear next quarter's construction output figures will be just as bad.

So far, the general election campaign has given too little attention to the needs of Scotland's construction sector.

I hope the sobering figures will prompt candidates from all parties to place a much greater focus on the Scottish construction sector's plight.

Whatever colour of UK government is elected on 6 May, it must do everything in its power to stem the damaging loss of jobs, skills and capacity from Scottish construction that lies behind these figures.

Michael Levack, Chief Executive, Scottish Building Federation, Edinburgh

Glad to skip the dance generation

I CAN'T help noticing that every single elderly couple whose wedding anniversary is celebrated in your "Real lives" column claim to have met at a dance.

Speaking as a dedicated non-dancer of the younger generation (63 at the last count) I'm glad I wasn't born a generation earlier, or I fear I would have been condemned to be a bachelor!

Harry D Watson, Braehead Grove, Edinburgh