1 MARCH 2021
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With the exception of the offshore islands, aviation matters are gaining little visibility in Scotland, angering the industry.
The Holyrood transport secretary said in the Scottish Parliament an aviation working group would be set up. This has still not happened and the big worry from those closely involved is that, with an election in Scotland looming, time will run out before Purdah comes in. The rules are set that even visitors from England are not allowed in, unless they have a reasonable excuse.
Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, is clearly agitated with how the sector is being dealt with by the devolved Parliament and last Wednesday (24 February) issued a statement: “Yesterday the (British) Prime Minister provided a clear framework for the safe restart of international aviation. Today the First Minister provided a clear message the aviation industry is not a priority for the Scottish Government. We received no plan or framework against which we can start plotting any form of recovery.
“This sends a very worrying signal to our airports, our airlines and the thousands of staff our sector supports. We find ourselves in a position where airports and airlines in England can start planning to safely reopen in time for the summer, yet in Scotland we are left with more questions than answers. It is now two weeks since the Scottish Government committed to setting up an aviation working group and it has still to meet. This lack of meaningful engagement cannot continue.”
AGS Airports Ltd operates Aberdeen International, Glasgow and Southampton airports and is the second largest airport group in the UK.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Peter Smart, Laurencekirk
Little wonder Derek Provan is agitated. Along with the complementary hospitality and tourism sectors, also lacking any guidance - all important sectors to the Scottish economy. Although immigration and aviation policies are supposed to be functions reserved to Westminster, Scottish decisions are predicated on public health policy, which is a delegated function. Hence our different quarantine provisions and inexcusable difference in speed when it comes to aviation and tourism. Not an ideal situation.
John Richmond, Lochwinnoch
The Scottish Government must get involved as soon as possible.
Goerge Scott, Glasgow
The rules up here are crazy. When it comes to the British Isles there should be one border. I will not admit to coming home via Manchester. If a special lockdown is needed itís easy enough. It was done for Leicester and other places in England.