A HIGH-TECH eye in the sky has been deployed at Edinburgh Airport to crackdown on rogue taxi drivers.
Cameras will track any taxis or private hires that contravene bylaws by picking-up passengers in the wrong area.
Bosses at the airport have taken action after spotting a rise in touting, tailgating through the exit barriers and congestion.
Adrian Witherow, Chief Operating Officer at Edinburgh Airport said: “The safety of staff and passengers is always our number one priority and practices like touting and tailgating must be addressed to ensure the drop-off zone is a safe environment for everyone.
“It’s important that we provide a steady supply of taxis and private hire cars for passengers who land in Edinburgh but, unfortunately, a rise in these unsafe practices is impacting on our ability to do that. Touting is also denying our licenced taxis business and we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of that service, especially when that agreement ensures a supply of cars available for our passengers and customers at all hours of the day.
“We hope that these measures will encourage all operators to act in a responsible and safe manner and encourage them to adhere to the agreements that are in place to deliver a positive experience for passengers and drivers.”
Signage to make users aware of the new measures has been installed and any vehicles that pick-up passengers in the drop off zone will receive a parking charge notice of £100.
A private company will manage this for the airport.
Rival firms City Cabs and Edinburgh City Private Hire currently both operate the ranks in a joint venture providing transfers to inbound passengers at the airport.
The Evening News reported in November how airport bosses had to step in to tell rival drivers on its ranks to stay in their cars to prevent them from squabbling in front of customers.
It was understood the airport intervened to ensure cabbies stay in their vehicles to prevent them from influencing customers' decision and reducing confrontations when rival drivers congregated at the head of their respective ranks.
City Cabs and Edinburgh City Private Hire drivers grew frustrated at rival firms' illegally picking up passengers in the drop-off zone after transporting customers to the airport.
Les McVay, company secretary of City Cabs welcomed the latest technology to clampdown on rogue drivers.
He said: “We welcome this step and see it as an important development to further improving the customer service levels we have agreed with the airport and ensuring vehicles are available for passengers and customers at all times.
“It is disappointing that a small number of the trade are operating illegally and out with safe procedures.
“We are confident that these new measures will rectify that and see all drivers adhering to the regulations, improving the area for passengers and drivers.”