Scotland's biggest airports owned by tax haven firms

THE biggest airports in Scotland are all owned by offshore companies, new research has found.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 5:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:47 pm
Edinburgh airport is ultimately owned by a company registered offshore. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports are all wholly or partially controlled through offshore jurisdictions.

All three facilities were publicly owned until the British Airports Authority was privatised by Margaret Thatcher’s Government in 1987.

Edinburgh, the main hub for tourists visiting Scotland, is ultimately owned by a firm registered in the Cayman Islands, research by The Herald found.

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Glasgow and Aberdeen airports are owned by the same series of companies half-owned offshore in the Channel Islands tax haven of Jersey.

The businesses involved said it is not “uncommon” for such assets to be owned through companies registered offshore.

Companies House filings reveal a UK entity called Green Bidco, owned by Caymans-registered Green Topco, bought Edinburgh Airport Limited in 2014.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive, told the paper: “The airport is owned by a supportive international investment fund, which has invested £55m in the last three years in improving the airport for passengers and staff for a further £20m committed for 2016.

“The airport now provides employment for over 6,000 people and supports 23,000 jobs across Scotland, contributing £1bn to the Scottish economy.

“Since 2012, Edinburgh Airport has paid £55m of tax, with £22.7m of corporation, employment, sales and property related taxes in 2015.”