SNP back third Heathrow runway as '˜best deal for Scotland'

The Scottish Government has backed the building of a third runway at Heathrow.

Heathrow Airport planned third runway would provide benefits to Scotland, says Scottish Economy Secretary Keith Brown: Picture: Heathrow Airport

Ministers claimed expanding the west London hub will provide a number of benefits for Scotland, including new jobs and more flights.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown insisted that building an extra runway at Heathrow rather than Gatwick would be “the best deal for Scotland”.

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He said the proposal from Heathrow would lead to the creation of 16,000 new jobs in Scotland and a reduction in landing charges paid by airlines operating services from Heathrow to Scotland.

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work

The plan could also see Glasgow Prestwick Airport used as a logistics hub for the construction of a third runway, and the potential for a “substantial increase” in direct flights between Heathrow and Scotland.

Mr Brown told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “In the absence of action from the UK Government, we have made this decision and we would urge them to act as quickly as possible.”

Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed last week that the UK Government would “shortly announce” a decision on which airport expansion project will get the go ahead.

The Davies Commission recommended in July last year that a third runway should be built at Heathrow. Other shortlisted options are extending the airport’s existing northern runway or building a second runway at Gatwick.

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed a third runway would “work for every region” of the UK.

He said: “An expanded Heathrow would create up to 16,000 jobs in Scotland.

“It would facilitate more airlines flying routes to Scottish airports, meaning more flights, more competition and choice for families and businesses across the nation.

“That also means more visitors to Scotland, more destinations for Scottish tourists and more opportunity for Scottish businesses to reach new export markets.

“This partnership demonstrates how Heathrow expansion can work for every region and nation of the UK. Now is the time for the UK Government to make the right choice and back Heathrow.”