A PASSENGER surge has sparked plans for a multi-million pound hotel at the gateway to Edinburgh Airport.
More than 20 new routes and services have contributed to a record-breaking surge in traveller numbers, creating a “shortfall” in hotel rooms around the terminal.
There are just two hotels within a mile of the airport – Hilton Edinburgh Airport and the Holiday Inn Express.
But now plans have been unveiled to build the £15 million Hampton Hilton Hotel with 175 bedrooms, with work expected to get under way late next year.
Business expert Graham Birse, from Edinburgh Napier University, said nearby accommodation was important for a “successful airport on the international stage”.
He said: “This is further evidence of the significance of the airport in the Edinburgh economy, and it may be it’s time for an expansion.
“Provision of hotel accommodation grows in response to the growth in services and passenger numbers.
“There is no doubt that in the last few years the number of passengers using the airport has grown.”
He added: “This niche market appeals to people flying in the morning or late in the evening and serves a very important purpose to ensure that passengers arriving and departing can do so in a relaxed and rested state of mind.”
Since 2013, 9.78 million passengers have passed through the airport, an increase of 6.3 per cent on 2012.
This year looks set to break records yet again, with airport bosses aiming to exceed the ten million mark.
National planning consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) is plotting the hotel on behalf of the Ability Hotel Group, and has organised a public consultation event for local residents to share views on the project.
NLP director Ian Kettlewell said the development would help meet an “identified shortfall in the number of rooms around the airport”. He added: “It is in a prominent location on a key route into Edinburgh Airport and has been designed to provide a positive landmark building.”
The consultation event will take place at Norwood Community Wing, Ratho Station on Tuesday from 3.30pm to 7pm.
Comments will be considered before NLP submits a planning application to the city early next year.
John Watson, chief commercial officer at Edinburgh Airport, said: “We’ve grown by providing our passengers with choice and for us this doesn’t stop in the terminal. Growing through providing choice is at the heart of everything we do at Edinburgh Airport.
“This year has been one of success and expansion and part of our future development is adding to our existing hotel options.
“We want to make sure our passengers have the best experience possible when they travel through Edinburgh Airport, whether that is choice of routes, shopping or accommodation.”