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Scottish Government to review airport resilience

The Scottish Government is to review the winter resilience of Scottish airports in a forum with airport operators.

Airport operators Highlands and Islands Airports, Glasgow Prestwick and BAA airports Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are being invited to meet transport minister Keith Brown - together with the Civil Aviation Authority - in a bid to help keep airports open for business in periods of extreme weather.

Scotland’s airports were affected by the severe winter weather late last year, with the country’s busiest, Edinburgh Airport, having closed eight times this winter. The forum will share knowledge and expertise from across the sector to improve future winter preparations.

Brown met Edinburgh Airport’s managing director last week to discuss the airport’s weather response and develop an airports winter resilience action programme.

He said the meeting had “provided a useful insight into airport challenges during severe weather and generated some actions for us to pursue for continued improvements to our winter resilience response”.

“Staff throughout the country have worked extremely hard over recent months to keep our transport networks open and it is vital we are able to keep Scotland moving. By keeping our transport networks open we can continue to attract people to Scotland to do business as well as promote Scotland’s many winter visitor attractions,” he added.

Edinburgh Airport’s managing director Kevin Brown said: “We welcome the minister’s creation of this forum to review performance and share best practice in dealing with extreme weather conditions such as the snow we have all recently had to deal with. 

“My team and I will be visiting Scandinavian airports over the next few weeks to learn from them how they minimise disruption and we will be keen to share this information with the group.  Should these weather patterns become the norm, collaboration and communication such as this forum will be vital in ensuring Scotland can continue to function.”

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