EDINBURGH Airport has reiterated plans for a new second runway as it unveiled its blueprint for expansion in the coming decades.
Bosses said the existing, little-used second runway would be closed as the terminal building is expanded to create space for more passengers and facilities.
In its place, they will continue to “safeguard” land for a new runway – which could come into regular use by around 2050.
Chief executive Gordon Dewar said the airport was “an enabler – a conduit for prosperity for all” and argued growth was “good for Scotland”.
But campaigners insisted a new runway would never happen, adding: “There’s no requirement now or in the future for an additional runway.”
Edinburgh Airport has launched a six-week consultation, allowing the public to give their feedback on its “masterplan” for development from now until 2040.
Blueprints include an enlarged terminal building and growth of the aircraft parking area, as well as the creation of a new road linking to the Gogar Roundabout to improve access to the airport.
While a replacement for the existing second runway – which is not frequently used due to its small size – is mooted, bosses insist the safeguarding of land “is a long-term precaution only, as we believe that the future growth of the airport can be sustained by the current main runway only”.
Helena Paul, of campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch, has been a vocal critic of the airport’s expansion plans in the past.
She said more flights would increase pollution, adding: “I can’t see that there’s a need in Scotland, with the population numbers we have, for an additional runway.”
Over the last decade, the number of passengers travelling through Edinburgh Airport has increased by 20 per cent.
And passenger numbers are predicted to rise by a further 18 per cent, from 11.1 million last year to 13.1 million in 2020.
Mr Dewar said: “At Edinburgh Airport our passenger numbers have grown more in the past three years than they did in the ten years previous.
“We’ve grown by one million passengers each year since 2012. We’ve grown our route network, serving more destinations and working with more airlines than ever.
“We believe that this growth is good for Scotland. We also believe that growth will continue at Edinburgh Airport.”
He added: “Edinburgh Airport is an enabler – a conduit for prosperity for all. But we also firmly believe that our growth is something that must be linked to, supported by and supportive of Edinburgh’s future development.”
Residents can submit feedback online until December 23, or by attending three upcoming events at the airport and the Hilton and Marriot hotels on November 15, November 22 and November 30 respectively.