Comment: Much to celebrate for Edinburgh Airport

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Edinburgh Airport flying high in the passenger number league table is good news for the whole region.

A busy airport is a key economic indicator, and the growth at Turnhouse has been enormously encouraging. It is now heading towards the key milestone of ten million passengers for the first time in 2014.

Routes have been added with a further North American link and long-awaited Middle East connection to Qatar set to take-off this year. And with the arrival of the tram alongside a major airport revamp, there is much to celebrate for chief executive Gordon Dewar and his team.

The challenge is ensuring the airport can continue on its upward trajectory while maintaining value for money.

There has been fresh criticism recently over the cost of parking while the controversial kiss-and-fly drop-off charge remains.

As Edinburgh looks to move up the league table from the fifth busiest airport in the UK, it must be careful not do this at the expense of the ordinary customer.

Certainly, the signs are good. Management have been keen to involve the airport in the community and develop close links with local businesses. That will pay dividends and was already demonstrated during last week’s bomb scare when the Hilton hotel and the Royal Highland Centre both came to the rescue to help with displaced passengers.

Longer term, there remains an issue with the road access which will need to be tackled if the growth in numbers is to be maintained.

But that is for the future. For now, we say well done to Gordon and his team and look forward to reporting on how EDI is meeting the challenges of the year ahead, one which will see the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the Year of Homecoming all place additional demand on services. Let’s hope we are flying towards another record-breaking year.