Airport boss’s salary soars despite security woes

Edinburgh Airport's pre-tax profits rose by 11 per cent to �22.8m under Gordon Dewar's leadership. Picture: Jane Barlow
Edinburgh Airport's pre-tax profits rose by 11 per cent to �22.8m under Gordon Dewar's leadership. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Directors at Edinburgh Airport, which has faced months of criticism over lengthy delays at its new £25 million security hall, saw their pay packets swell last year according to its latest annual report.

The highest-paid director at Scotland’s busiest airport – understood to be chief executive Gordon Dewar – received total remuneration of £547,000 in 2014, an increase of 55 per cent on the previous year. The figure included a £31,000 pension contribution.

Total directors’ remuneration grew to £650,000, up from £510,000 a year earlier.

Latest available accounts for rival Glasgow Airport show that its highest-paid director received £293,000 in 2013.

Edinburgh Airport’s accounts also reveal that pre-tax profits at the airport rose 11 per cent to £22.8 million in the year to the end of December, on turnover that grew by the same margin to £130.7m.

Aeronautical income such as aircraft landing fees and baggage operations accounted for more than half its turnover, while retail income – including car parking charges – made up more than a third.

The terminal was the first in Scotland to handle more than ten million travellers in a year, with passenger traffic growing by 4.1 per cent to 10.2 million in 2014.

However, bosses have come under attack after passengers branded long queues at security a “complete shambles”, with several saying they had missed flights as a result of the delays caused by an IT glitch.

Earlier this month, security operations manager Nick Keenan insisted the airport had “turned that corner”, with dozens of newly-trained staff being deployed to manage queues. With the school holidays now well under way, a dedicated family lane is being introduced as a temporary measure to make life easier for those travelling with children.

More than one million passengers passed through the terminal in May – a record for that month – boosted by an increase in domestic and international services. In the first two months of 2015, traveller numbers grew by 7.6 per cent compared with a year earlier to hit 1.29 million, and the airport has predicted that new routes, including Etihad Airways’ flights to Abu Dhabi, will mean those figures will keep rising through the peak 
summer season.

Writing in the annual report, Dewar said: “The company expects passenger traffic to continue to grow in 2015 and expects to see further improvements as its programme of investment in its facilities increases the range of services and choices for passengers. The investment in Edinburgh Airport’s terminal expansion will provide an increased capacity to allow for growth in the numbers of passengers and the retail offering available.”

Edinburgh Airport, formerly owned by BAA, was sold for £807m in 2012. Global Infrastructure Partners, which also owns Gatwick and London City airports, has an 80.9 per cent stake in the terminal.