Scottish airports are to be guaranteed additional slots at Heathrow Airport as part of expansion plans, following talks between the SNP and UK Governments.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy Keith Brown MSP was given the pledge during a meeting with Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling earlier this week.
Mr Brown has now written to Mr Grayling, urging the UK Government to take early steps to make sure the additional capacity is safeguarded as soon as possible.
Mr Brown said:
“We have long called for Scottish airports to be given additional slots at Heathrow and welcome this commitment from the UK Government.
“This has been a key priority for the SNP Government for some time, so we are very keen that concrete action is taken to build on this commitment and ensure that this vital additional capacity is safeguarded.
“It will be important to map out a clear process to secure a minimum level of access to Heathrow for Scottish airports which is compliant with all relevant regulations and legislation, in particular State Aid regulations.
“The SNP Government is happy to provide whatever support is necessary to achieve these aims and we look forward to further discussions on this issue in the future.”
Kenneth Gibson added:
"An increased number of slots into Scottish airports mean enhanced business links to Scotland, leading to greater investment, more jobs and increased prosperity.
"Ultimately, more direct links between Scotland and non-UK destinations are vital not just for business but to ease and increase travel to and from Scotland, cutting the costs of doing so. The reduction and then abolition of Air Passenger Duty will go a long way to delivering this."