Edinburgh Airport: Action plan as passengers soar

Improvements will include more docks for planes, faster check-ins and a larger immigration area. Picture:  Dan Phillips
Improvements will include more docks for planes, faster check-ins and a larger immigration area. Picture: Dan Phillips
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New parking stands for planes and an expanded immigration area would be created at Edinburgh Airport by next summer under an action plan designed to cope with soaring passenger numbers.

The priorities for expansion at Scotland’s biggest airport have been unveiled by chief executive Gordon Dewar in the wake of the transport hub notching one million passengers in a month for the first time.

A record-breaking total of 1.08m passengers passed through the airport during July – a massive 13.1 per cent hike on the same month last year.

But Mr Dewar admitted space had been “tight” dealing with the major influx of visitors in recent months.

He said: “On occasion, some passengers have probably had to wait longer than we would like, but we have got through the summer and nothing fell over. What we’ve now got to do, given we’ve got this confidence, is invest even faster in making sure we’re ready for even more growth next year.

“Check-in definitely needs to get better. We know there’s not enough space around 
immigration.

“While our UK Borders force partners are doing a great job, we just don’t have physical space there.

“On the operational side, we need to build more stands so we can park more aircraft, but it’s a great problem to have.”

Self-service baggage drops trialled this year have already been labelled a success, with potential for more of the automated terminals to be rolled out.

Airport investment is often expensive, with a single air bridge needed to service major jumbo jets costing an estimated £1m.

Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir praised the airport’s owners for creating an investment plan, saying: “I’m absolutely confident that we will get more direct flights from 
Edinburgh.

“There’s no reason why a million passengers a month can’t be the norm and not the exception.”