Aberdeen airport to host business summit

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BUSINESS leaders across the North east of Scotland will gather in Aberdeen on Tuesday for the area’s first “aviation summit,” hosted by the newly rebranded Aberdeen International Airport.

Speakers at the event at the city’s Exhibition and Conference Centre will include Keith Brown, Scotland’s Transport Minister,Tom Smith, the chairman of the local economic forum , ACSEF, and Derek Provan, the airport’s managing director.

Mr Provan said: “I have great ambitions for our airport. I know those ambitions are shared by many in the city and shire. The message received loud and clear during the consultation on our draft 30-year master plan was that Aberdeen International Airport matters.”

And he continued: “We are pleased to be leading this debate, which will reinforce the importance of our industry to this region and will place us at the heart of a conversation about the future. I will be listening with particular interest to the input of all our speakers, on issues such as tourism, business travel, economic and taxation regimes around Europe, and surface access in particular.”

Mr Brown said: “Aberdeen has established itself as the fastest growing airport in the UK and this summit underlines the key priorities and opportunities going forward. The Scottish Government shares the ambition shown by the team here, and indeed by the wider aviation sector, towards developing the key role our airports have in making Scotland an exciting and attractive place to live, work and do business.

“More than 22 million people travelled through Scotland’s airports in 2012 and every one of those journeys delivered a return to the Scottish economy. This Scottish Government is committed to doing everything necessary to support our aviation sector and allowing it to grow.”

He added: “Connections to Heathrow are crucial and we will continue to vigorously pursue the UK Government to adopt a more pro-active role in maintaining and promoting these vital links. Air Passenger Duty (APD) is another area where we continue to be frustrated by the UK Government’s approach. Businesses and families face punitive levels of duty, making the overall cost of air travel prohibitive for many, and we will continue to argue for responsibility over APD to be passed to the Scottish Parliament in the same way that it has been devolved to Northern Ireland.”