Belfast Telegraph

Growth at Edinburgh Airport brings £1bn boost for economy

Edinburgh Airport contributes almost £1 billion to the Scottish economy every year and supports more than 23,000 jobs across the country, according to a new study.

The airport experienced its busiest ever year in 2015, welcoming more than 11 million passengers.

A new report looked at the economic benefits to Edinburgh and the Scottish economy as a whole from having an airport in Scotland's capital, while also considering how these benefits could increase over the next four years.

The analysis, contained in the study prepared by BiGGAR Economics, p redicts the airport will add between £1.1 billion and £1.6 billion to the economy by 2020, with the potential of supporting up to 40,300 Scottish jobs.

Among the findings, it concluded airport and on-site operations, including retail, contribute £400 million and 8,276 jobs.

It also looked at money generated off-site in hotels and car parks as well as the tourism contribution.

Gordon Dewar, the airport's chief executive, said: "Edinburgh Airport is an increasingly important economic asset for the country as a whole, and these figures demonstrate just how important a competitive airport is for a country with Scotland's ambition and international profile.

"Our growth in recent years has been supported by one of the largest private investments of its kind in national infrastructure, to build new facilities and attract an unprecedented number of new, direct international connections to Scotland.

"The result, as the BiGGAR report shows, is nearly £1 billion of economic value and a social impact that extends to more than 20,000 jobs. Those figures will increase and by 2020, we could be supporting twice as many jobs as we do now."

Last month, the airport recorded a total of 770,265 people passing through it, making it the busiest February ever following a rise of 17.2% on the previous year's figure.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of tourism body VisitScotland, said: " Strengthening air connectivity is key to growing the visitor economy and we welcome this predicted growth at Edinburgh Airport which will have a knock-on effect for tourism across the whole of Scotland."

Popular