Leaders: ‘Having the right people in charge is vital’

A flight departs from Edinburgh Airport. Picture: PA
A flight departs from Edinburgh Airport. Picture: PA
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THINGS have been somewhat up in the air at Edinburgh Airport in recent times. Ever since the ruling by the Competition Commission which forced BAA to sell off Turnhouse, it has been an anxious time for staff and business leaders as the arrival of the new owner was awaited.

The news today then that Global Infrastructure Partners has installed the airport’s former managing director, Gordon Dewar, as its new chief executive officer is welcome.

Not only is Mr Dewar widely respected, the fact that he knows the business, the city and the people could make all the difference in ensuring a smooth handover and a bright future.

The importance of having the right people in charge of the airport of course cannot be underestimated. It is one of the key drivers of the local economy and, with today’s news that the city’s population is rising faster than anywhere else in Scotland, it will only become more important in the future.

We expect GIP, which also runs Gatwick and London City airports, to continue the development and expansion which has seen Edinburgh overtake Glasgow as Scotland’s busiest hub.

Edinburgh-born Mr Dewar will play a key role in ensuring that expansion is handled sympathetically to the wider interests of Edinburgh and the Lothians.

There is, of course, one development which can remain firmly locked away. Any increase in the so-called “kiss and fly” tax – an initiative set in train by Mr Dewar before his departure to take charge of Bahrain International Airport in 2010 – will be fiercely resisted.

Drop-off charge apart, hopefully Mr Dewar’s insistence that the airport’s “future, its plans and its identity” will “all be shaped in Edinburgh” will be reassuring to everyone involved.

The new owners are finally in place, the uncertainty is over, and we wish them well. The future is still, thankfully, up in the air.

What an inspiration

the achievements of terminally-ill Scott McIntyre are simply amazing.

Being diagnosed with advanced cancer at the age of just 38 was the cruellest of blows for the IT specialist from Colinton Mains – and a reminder to us all of how fragile life can be. But the enthusiastic sports fan has seized the day ever since.

First, he proposed to his beautiful wife Paula with a Haribo sweet ring, and he has gone on to raise vital funds for the Beatson Cancer Centre.

He deserves a rest after his 17-hour fundraising golf marathon – but he is sure not to take one.

Scott, you are an inspiration to us all.