The Scottish Government has backed the building of a third runway at Heathrow.
Economy secretary Keith Brown says expanding the west London hub will provide a number of benefits for Scotland, including new jobs and more flights.
Ministers in Edinburgh will now formally endorse an extra runway at Heathrow rather than Gatwick as “the best deal for Scotland”.
But Gatwick bosses expressed their surprise at the announcement and insisted that a second runway at the West Sussex airport would be “the best outcome for Scotland”.
Mr Brown 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.
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.
“We have been clear from the start of this process that we wanted the best deal for Scotland and building a third runway at Heathrow provides the most significant benefits to the country’s economy and connectivity,” Mr Brown said.
“We have engaged extensively with both airports during this process and considered all options very carefully. Gatwick’s proposals are also to be commended.
“However, Heathrow’s plan offers significant job creation, major investment opportunities and, crucially, seeks to address how all of Scotland’s airports benefit from the new runway capacity when it comes and also in the lead-up period.
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 options which have also been shortlisted include extending the airport’s existing northern runway or building a second runway at Gatwick.
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.